Memphis... Yes, I'm Ready

Memphis... Yes, I'm Ready

by Dee Dee BridgewaterDee Dee Bridgewater


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There's no question that Dee Dee Bridgewater is one of America's great jazz vocalists, but that's hardly the only thing she can do. Bridgewater was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and while her family pulled up stakes for Flint, Michigan when she was only three, she still feels a spiritual connection with the city and its music, and on 2017's Memphis...Yes, I'm Ready, she puts her love of vintage soul and blues front and center. Bridgewater recorded Memphis...Yes, I'm Ready at Royal Recorders, the Bluff City studio where producer Willie Mitchell cut a string of hits with Al Green in the '70s, and Willie's son Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell co-produced the sessions along with Dee Dee and her daughter Tulani Bridgewater. Mitchell pulled together a splendid studio band for this album, including a few members of the old Hi Rhythm Section, and they deliver a superb set of soulful grooves, at once swampy and emphatic, with John Stoddart's electric piano, Jackie Clark's bass, and James "Bishop" Sexton's drums generating just the right amount of funk. With a top-shelf soul band cooking behind her, Dee Dee Bridgewater steps up as a top-shelf soul singer, smooth when she should be, good and gritty when she wants to be, and sounding tough, passionate, and firmly in command at all times. That Bridgewater delivers on soul classics such as "Yes, I'm Ready," "Try a Little Tenderness," and "B.A.B.Y." is not a great surprise, but her transformation of B.B. King's blues perennial "The Thrill Is Gone" into a smoky late-night groove is both unexpected and welcome, and she works an impressive transformation on two numbers associated with Elvis Presley, "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog," finding a tough R&B center inside them. "The Sweeter He Is" gives Dee Dee a chance to open up her soul and tell us some home truths about cheating men, and the closing performance of the gospel standard "(Take My Hand) Precious Lord" is glorious. Dee Dee Bridgewater strips off some of the polish from her style on Memphis...Yes, I'm Ready without betraying her talent or best musical instincts, and this detour into Soul City is a treat that should please her fans, as well as anyone who digs Southern soul.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/15/2017
Label: Masterworks
UPC: 0889854061128
catalogNumber: 540611

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dee Dee Bridgewater   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jackie Clark   Bass
Charles Hodges   Hammond Organ
Kirk Whalum   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Kevin Whalum   Background Vocals
John Stoddart   Keyboards
Garry Goin   Guitar
James Sexton   Drums
Marc Franklin   Trumpet
Kirk Smothers   Tenor Saxophone
Kameron Whalum   Trombone
Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell   Cymbals,Tambourine,Electric Bongos
Lannie McMillan   Tenor Saxophone
Sharisse Norman   Background Vocals
Stax Music Academy   Background Vocals
Candise Rayborn-Marshall   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Elvis Presley   Composer
Roy Hawkins   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Barbara Mason   Composer
Van McCoy   Composer
Barrett Strong   Composer
Otis Blackwell   Composer
Roebuck "Pops" Staples   Composer
Dee Dee Bridgewater   Producer,Liner Notes
Isaac Hayes   Composer
Ted Jensen   Engineer
St. Louis Jimmy Oden   Composer
Bernard Miller   Composer
Ann Peebles   Composer
David Porter   Composer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Kirk Whalum   Producer,Horn Arrangements
Norman Whitfield   Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
John Stoddart   Vocal Arrangements
Jeff Majors   Composer
Harry Woods   Composer
Reginald Connelly   Composer
James Campbell   Composer
Tulani Bridgewater Kowalski   Producer,Art Direction,Cover Art
Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell   Producer,Engineer
Sobie Frank Frazier   Composer
Rick Ravon Darnell   Composer
Donald Maurice Bryant   Composer

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