112

Madeline Bell: Blessed

By

Sign in to view read count
Madeline Bell: Blessed Madeline Bell was born in New Jersey where she was influenced early on by Sam Cooke, sang on street corners, in talent shows and at local clubs. She became part of one of the more popular gospel groups in the country, the Alex Bradford Singers. But it wasn't until she moved to England in 1962 that her career really started to take off. A background singer with Dusty Springfield, she eventually joined a popular English Rock group, the Blue Minks, and staying for four years. Later, branching out as a solist, she achieved special popularity in The Netherlands. In addition to concert tours, she worked with Tom Parker in presenting popularized versions of classical music by Handel, Beethoven and Verdi. All this singing experience, gospel, pop, soul, Motown and Rock, classical, mixed in with Latin beats, comes together on her fourth album Blessed.

Kicking off with "The Look of Love ", made popular by top pop/soul singer Dionne Warwick, Bell turns to a poignant classical like rendition of "Home" from Porgy and Bess. Rhythm and Blues is here via "Before I Open My Mouth" replete with the squawking sax of Allard Buwalda, dancing vibes of Frits Landesbergen and honky tonk piano of long time playing partner, Cor Bakker. Motown influence, especially Diana Ross, is apparent on "The Last Laugh", complete with background singers. The Latin comes in with "To Dance the Samba". As far as gospel goes, her exposure in her adolescent years to this music is apparent on almost every track. Even the" Beach Boys Medley" wouldn't seem out of place in a Sunday morning church service.

As befitting a vocalist with broad experience and success, Bell has an extraordinarily versatile singing style which is adapted to the kind of song she is performing. While her voice isn't necessarily all that strong, it is clear and pristine in its earthiness. Her phrasing is impeccable and she articulates the lyrics with the right level of emotion and always with clarity. Fortunately the electronic gimmicks (synthesizers, etc.) on the album are handled with discretion and don't overwhelm Bell's vocals or otherwise generally clutter up the session as they are wont to do.

Bell doesn't return to the US all that often. It's our country's loss that we let her get away. This album is recommended.


Track Listing: The Look of Love; I Hate Cold Weather; Seasons of Love; Dreams; To Dance the Samba; The Last Laugh; Beach Boys Medley: And Your Dreams Come True, God only Knows, Wouldn't It Be Nice; Good Morning Freedom; Home; Before I Open My Mouth; For Once in My Life; Sail on Sailor

Personnel: Madeline Bell - Vocals; Cor Bakker - Piano/Synthesizer; Frits Landesbergen - Vibraphone/Synthesizer; Allard Buwalda - Saxes/Flute; Edwin Corzilius - Acoustic & Electric Bass; Hans Dekker - Drums; Jeroen de Rijk - Percussion; Ed Verhoef - Guitars; Deborah J. Carter, Julia Purimahuwa, Orlando Milan - Background Vocals

Title: Blessed | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Challenge Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Jim Crow's Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Jim Crow's Tears
by James Nadal
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Stranger Days" CD/LP/Track Review Stranger Days
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Gold
by Jim Olin
Published: January 25, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!