A career highlight of soul and gospel singer Fontella Bass | Bleader

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A career highlight of soul and gospel singer Fontella Bass

Posted By on 12.27.12 at 11:30 AM

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The great soul and gospel singer Fontella Bass died yesterday in her native Saint Louis, Missouri, from complications following a heart attack. She was 72. The singer will probably always be known best for her indelible 1965 smash “Rescue Me,” recorded in Chicago with the Chess Records house band; but her other soul work was nearly as strong. Early on in her career she played piano behind the blues great Little Milton, but she moved to Chicago with her then-husband, the singular trumpeter Lester Bowie. Bass signed to Chess, while Bowie ended up forming the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and for me the singer’s greatest, most powerful recording was her soul-searing collaboration with AEC on "Theme de Yoyo" from their sound track for the 1971 French film Les Stances à Sophie. If the track following the jump doesn’t move you, well, you have my sympathy.

Today’s playlist:

Peter Garland, Waves Breaking on Rocks (New World)
Vijay Iyer, Prasanna & Nitin Mitta, Tirtha (ACT)
Oren Ambarchi, Stacte.3 (Plate Lunch)
Willie Colon & Ruben Blades, Siembra (Fania)
Bud Shank, Bud Shank-Shorty Rogers/Bud Shank-Bill Perkins (Pacific Jazz, Japan)

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