CD Listen to the Night [Linda Sharrock] (CD 1147328), Audio Other
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Listen to the Night [Linda Sharrock]

  • 1. Lover Man
    2. Calling You - (Theme From the Film Bagdad Cafe)
    3. Ooh Boy!
    4. You Don't Know What Love Is
    5. Welcome
    6. My One and Only Love
    7. Bystander, The - (Dedicated To Roman Polanski)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 283525

  • Credits
    ProducerFrancois Lemaire
    EngineerJean-Marie Guerin; Reine Bensaid; Alain Cluzeau; Jean-Marie Guerin

    Lyricist: Linda Sharrock.
    Personnel: Linda Sharrock (vocals); Eric Watson (piano).
    Liner Note Author: Bob Blumenthal.
    Recording information: Studio Acousti, Paris, France (05/27/1994/05/28/1994).
    Photographer: Christian Ducasse.
    Linda Sharrock was heard in more improvised contexts with her husband, the maverick electric guitarist Sonny Sharrock. To some, it might be surprising that she did this recording with just pianist Eric Watson. Much in the manner of Billie Holiday with Mal Waldron, the inevitable comparisons must be made. Then again, vocalist Sharrock was never heard in such an intimate setting, which could be to her detriment. Naked and up-front, her voice is exposed as a bit strained, forcing dramatism and sporting a limited range. Often she sounds very similar to Joan Armatrading, or considering the time they came into the public eye (mid-'70s), could it be the other way around? The duo does three ballad standards, which are not all that distinctive save Watson's probing or introspective and definitely subtle piano playing. "Calling You," from the film Baghdad Caf, really shows the commonality between Sharrock and Armatrading and the original "Welcome" expresses a Native American sound, while "The Bystander" stretches her voice out into the upper stratosphere where few vocalists tread. Watson, a brilliant and criminally under-recognized pianist, is really the star here, and listeners should explore his other group efforts. There is a certain balance and empathy present throughout the date, but one cannot be sure if Sharrock is nonchalant, or trying too hard to prove herself as a disciple of Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, or peers Jay Clayton, Jeanne Lee, and Sheila Jordan. ~ Michael G. Nastos

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