One of the the most mesmerising singers live, and tapping into soul, the blues, a jazz sensibility can also identify via the essence of her artistry, extracting all the threads of connection that the Detroit legend creates, Bettye LaVette has Blackbirds on Verve out in May.
At this terible time globally a lush grandly framed simmering blues treatment of Nina Simone song of magnanimity yet retained pride 'I Hold No Grudge' from the record is just the kind of feeling and truth that we all need and introduces the album. Bettye referring to Blackbirds tweets: ''It consists of songs that I heard while growing up, performed by women in jazz, blues, and R&B for whom I have great respect.''
Songs include classics identified with besides Nina Simone among others Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson and Dinah Washington and are: 'I Hold No Grudge,' 'One More Song,' 'Blues For The Weepers,' 'Book Of Lies,' 'Romance In The Dark,' 'Drinking Again,' 'Strange Fruit,' 'Save Your Love For Me' and 'Blackbird.'
LaVette was to have been inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame this year. No matter, she throws down the gauntlet big time with this uncompromising track to show once again why she is so revered and still so relevant.