CD Take A Bite (CD 7009800),
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Take A Bite

  • 1. Suite Seventeen: It Was a Very Good Year/I'm a Foster Child - (remix)
    2. Love Dancin'
    3. It Was a Very Good Year/I'm a Foster Child - (remix)
    4. I Thank You
    5. It Was a Very Good Year/I'm a Foster Child - (remix)
    6. Touch Me in the Morning
    7. Shaw Biz/Suddenly It's How I Like to Feel/Shaw Biz (Reprise)
    8. No One Yet
    9. Haven't We Been in Love Before?
    10. I'll Be Your Friend
    11. Love Dancin' [Special Disco Version]
    12. Touch Me in the Morning - (remix)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5008

  • Credits
    ProducerHarold Wheeler; Marlena Shaw; Meco Monardo; Tony Bongiovi
    EngineerJerry Garszva; Neil Dorfsman; Scott Litt; Bill Scheniman; Bob Clearmountain

    Personnel: Hiram Bullock, Paul Schafer, Jeff Mironov, Ken Hatfield, Lance Quinn (guitar); George Marge, Phil Bodner, Ronnie Cuber, Seldon Powell (reeds); Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff, Bob Millikan, Danny Cahn, Burt Collins, Bobby Bryant (trumpet); Fred Griffin, Jimmy Buffington, John Clark (French horn); Eddie Bert, Retsim Ocem, Paul Falise, Tom Malone, Wayne Andre (trombone); Harold Wheeler , Frank Owens (keyboards); Ed Walsh, Rich Trifan (synthesizer); Richard Crooks , Allan Schwartzberg (drums); Nyto Bongo, Jimmy Maelen (percussion); Gordon Grody, Diva Grey, Ellen Bernfield, John Luongo, Jimmy Maelon, Lani Groves (background vocals).
    Audio Mixers: John Luongo; Michael Barbiero.
    Liner Note Author: David Nathan.
    Recording information: Soundworks, New York; The Power Station, New York.
    Photographer: Francesco Scavullo.
    Arranger: Bobby Bryant .
    Like Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marlena Shaw started out as a jazz singer but made a long detour into R&B before returning to her straightahead jazz roots. Take a Bite was among the albums that Shaw recorded during her R&B period, and this 1979 LP is her most disco-friendly release. 1979, of course, was the perfect time for her to be disco-friendly -- that was the year that gave us classics like Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," Donna Summer's "Bad Girls" and Chic's "Good Times." Many of the soul and disco enthusiasts who bought this record didn't associate Shaw with Count Basie, but the jazz world did -- and not surprisingly, myopic jazz snobs believed that Shaw had committed heresy, treason and blasphemy by embracing disco. Some of them probably thought that an exorcism was in order. But truth be told, Take a Bite is nothing for the former Basie vocalist to be ashamed of. This LP shouldn't be judged by jazz standards because it doesn't pretend to be jazz; it is, however, an enjoyable disco/soul outing. Shaw takes dead aim at the dance floor with "Suite Seventeen," an extended disco medley that takes up all of Side 1. "It Was a Very Good Year" is the medley's main song, although "Suite Seventeen" also includes everything from Diana Ross' "Touch Me in the Morning" to Sam & Dave's "I Thank You"." A gem that was defined by Frank Sinatra, "It Was a Very Good Year" started out as a traditional pop ballad but works surprisingly well as uptempo disco. Side 2, meanwhile, makes some dance-floor moves but also contains a gospel-drenched soul ballad titled "I'll Be Your Friend." Take a Bite isn't among Shaw's essential albums, but it's a decent record that fans of late '70s disco will appreciate. ~ Alex Henderson

  • Critic Reviews
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.90) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Side One comprised an awe-inspiring medley melding female empowerment with shimmering disco ball rhythms..."
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