Etta James Come A Little Closer
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- Released: August 31, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: MCA Special Products
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: Etta James (vocals); Danny Kortchmar, Ken Marco, Lowell George, Wah-Wah Watson (guitar); Chuck Findley, David Duke , Gene Cipriano, Charles Dinwiddie, Jim Horn, Steve Madaio, Trevor Lawrence, Bobby Keys, Lew McCreary (horns); Gabriel Mekler, William McLeish Smith, Larry Nash, William D. "Smitty" Smith (keyboards); Larry Mizell (ARP synthesizer); Louis Spears (upright bass); Kenneth "Spider Webb" Rice (drums); Mailto Correa, Gary Coleman (percussion); Gwen Edwards, Venetta Fields, Carlena Williams (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Erick Labson.
Liner Note Author: Mary Katherine Aldin.
Recording information: Los Angeles, CA (1974-1975); New York, NY (1974-1975).
Illustrator: Bill Hoffman.
Etta James was fighting serious substance-abuse problems when this album was recorded, commuting to the sessions from a rehab center. It was a triumph simply to complete the record at all. But although James' life may have been in rough shape outside of the studio, she delivered a fairly strong set that fused forceful '70s soul arrangements with some rock (Randy Newman and John Kay both contribute compositions), jazz, and New Orleans R&B. Some of the material is routine, but there are some very strong cuts here, like a rousing "Sookie Sookie" and "Out on the Street Again," with its slightly sinister funk groove. "Feeling Uneasy," in fact, counts as one of the unsung highlights of her career, with a wrenching, near-wordless scat-moan vocal over a suitably languorous, melancholy blues-jazz arrangement. The CD reissue adds a couple of interesting bonus tracks: the 1975 single "Lovin' Arms," a good rootsy ballad, and a single edit of one of the tracks from the album, "Out on the Street Again." ~ Richie Unterberger
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