MT's Managing Editor shares with us his top albums and reissues of 2011
Published: January 4, 2012
3 Esther Phillips Performance (CTI/Sony): Finally reissued, this '74 gem from Phillips' run on Kudu finds the gutsy jazz chanteuse tackling with aplomb soul and R&B — songs by Dr. John, Isaac Hayes, Allen Toussaint and Eugene McDaniels; "Disposable society has thrown away sincerity" indeed.
4 Gene Clark White Light (Sundazed) An album of gentle power and absolute beauty; his voice is inescapable as a transmitter of vulnerability, of experience.
5 Bobby Charles Bobby Charles (Rhino Handmade): The album's frayed grace and blend of nomadic genres (he's backed by the Band) — gospel, rock, country, soul, R&B, folk and beer-drinker confessionals — sound as if Charles is unmoved by a world beyond the serpents of spliff smoke rising from his front porch in rural Louisiana.
Other notable reissues: Ella Washington Ella Washington (Reel/P&C), Aretha Franklin Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia (Sony/Legacy), Phil Spector The Philles Album Collection (Sony/Legacy), Phil Seymour Archive Series Vol. 2 (Fuel), Jim Ford Harlan County (Light in the Attic), Carole King Music (Mobile Fidelity; hybrid SACD), Sky Don't Hold Back and Sailor's Delight (Zen), Paul Williams Someday Man (Now Sounds), Nat King Cole After Midnight and St. Louis Blues (Analogue Productions; hybrid SACD), Frankie Miller That's Who: Complete Chrysalis Recordings '73-'80 (EMI), The Temptations 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1961- 1971 (Hip-O).
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