244

Othella Dallas: I Live The Life I Love

By

Sign in to view read count
Othella Dallas: I Live The Life I Love Othella Dallas has lived a rather picturesque life in show business, and tells her musical tale in I Live The Life I Love. Between the book-ending opener by Phil Moore, "Lil' Gal From Memphis," and Muddy Waters' closing "I Love the Life I Live," Dallas makes several musical side trips.

The CD booklet has the look of a nonfiction biography, featuring glossy photos of Dallas' life beginning with her career as a dancer with Katherine Dunham and career as a teacher within that organization after World War II. In 1954, she appeared on the bill at venues like the Apollo Theatre with artists including Sammy Davis Jr., Duke Ellington, Sonny Stitt and King Curtis. Dallas opened her own ballet academy in Basel, Switzerland, while she continued to sing in European clubs. She worked with former Woody Herman saxophonist Sammy Nestico during the 1980s as well as Slide Hampton and John Gordon's Trombones Unlimited.

The music is arranged by John Di Martino, who does a fine job of connecting the twelve-piece ensemble to the each track's specific mood. The album opens with a faux Jamaican Dancehall introduction, setting up Dallas to begin her autobiographical tale of "Lil Gal From Memphis" with some sort of rap, but instead reciting the eight line introduction a la Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (1964). With the first chorus she begins singing the lyrics, stressing that, no matter how fancy or worldly her travels, Dallas just prefers "beans, rice and barbeque ribs."

A fully fledged reggae pulse propels Peter Wydler's (Dallas' son) "On My Way Back Home." Bobby Sharp's "Blues for Mr. Charlie" presents a view of hard times under presumed segregation, accompanied by Joe Barbato's soulful accordion, effectively cushioned by the ensemble. Ray Charles' "I Believe to My Soul" kicks with a very similar arrangement to the late singer's Atlantic version.

The inclusion of tunes including Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia," Ellington's "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" and Cooley/Davenport's "Fever" are rather routine fodder, Dallas's voice has certainly weathered at the age of 82, but she does manage to sound energetic and lively.


Track Listing: Lil' Gal From Memphis; Help The Poor; One For My Baby; On My Way Back Home; I Believe To My Soul; Blues For Mr.Charlie; C.C.Rider; Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me; Fever; Georgia; Bird In the Sky; Birth of the Blues; I Love the Life I Live.

Personnel: Othella Dallas: vocals; John DiMartino: arranger; Thomas Silverstre: Fender Rhodes; Peter Wagner: Hammond B3; Thomas Moeckel: guitar, trumpet; Leon Duncan: bass; Pius Baschnagel: drums; Michael Flurry: trombone; Osvaldo Aden: trumpet; Thomas Greunwald: tenor sax; Katharina Thomsen: baritone sax; Freeda Goodlet: background vocal; Joe Barbato: accordion; Michael Wipf: percussion; plus violins and cello.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey
by James Nadal
Published: May 16, 2016
Read "The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi" CD/LP/Track Review The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Tomorrow
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Joyride" CD/LP/Track Review Joyride
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!