Q - Summer/01, p.1253 stars out of 5
- "...Oodles of slick, if vapid disco-funk...containing the ubiquitous 'I'm Every Woman'..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.69
"Khan's voice is powerful....It builds perfectly on the solid fusion-funk of her ex-group's blueprint."
Personnel: Chaka Khan, George Benson (vocals); Phil Upchurch, Hamish Stuart, Cornell Dupree, Onnie McIntyre, Tony Maiden (guitar); Jesse Levy, Kermit Moore, Richard Bock (cello); Gene Bianco (harp); Eddie Daniels, Phil Bodner (flute); George Marge (alto flute); David Sanborn, George Young (alto saxophone); Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone); Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn); Brook Tillotson, Jim Buffington, John Clark (French horn); Barry Rogers (trombone); Paul Faulise (bass trombone); Richard Tee (piano); Leon Pendarvis (electric piano); Ken Bichel (synthesizer); Will Lee (bass, background vocals); Anthony Jackson, Mark Stevens (bass); Steve Ferrone, Rick Marotta, Arthur Jenkins (drums); Raphael Cruz, Sammy Figuroea (congas); Airto Moreira (percussion); Hamish Stuart, Cissy Houston, David Lasley (background vocals).
Personnel: Chaka Khan (vocals, background vocals); Hamish Stuart (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Cissy Houston, David Lasley, Mark Stevens, Alan Gorrie, Terri Gonzales, Will Lee (vocals, background vocals); George Benson (vocals); Cornell Dupree, Andrew Kastner, Phil Upchurch, Tony Maiden, Onnie McIntyre (guitar); Gene Bianco (harp, harmonica); Richard Bock, Jesse Levy, Kermit Moore (cello); George Marge (flute, alto flute); Eddie Daniels, Phil Bodner (flute); David Sanborn, George Young (saxophone, alto saxophone); Michael Brecker (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Ronnie Cuber (saxophone, baritone saxophone); Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn); Brooks Tillotson, James Buffington, John Clark (French horn, horns); Paul Faulise (trombone, bass trombone); Barry Rogers (trombone); Richard Tee (piano, electric piano, Clavinet, keyboards); Arthur Jenkins (electric piano, Clavinet, keyboards); Leon Pendarvis (electric piano, keyboards); Kenneth Bichel (synthesizer); Rick Marotta, Steve Ferrone (drums); Sammy Figueroa, Raphael Cruz (congas); Airto Moreira (percussion).
Audio Remixer: Lewis Hahn.
Recording information: Atlantic Recording Studio, NY; Cherokee Recording Studio, Los Angeles, CA.
Arrangers: Arif Mardin; Chaka Khan; Charles Stepney.
Shortly after she departed the funk outfit Rufus in 1978, Chaka Khan recorded her solo debut, which demonstrated that the talent and energy she'd brought to Rufus could shine just as brightly without the rest of the band. On the strength of her popular, disco-fied take on Ashford and Simpson's "I'm Every Woman," CHAKA began to garner attention, a phenomenon hastened by the album's second single, "Life Is a Dance."
CHAKA is solid album throughout, though, thanks to an assembly of excellent backing musicians, top-notch production, and, naturally, Khan's amazingly capable pipes, which can veer from a fierce, fiery wail to a soulful croon with ease. Whether on ballads ("Roll Me Through the Rushes"), bottom-heavy boogie ("Some Love"), or her cover of Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made to Love Her" (Khan flips the gender), CHAKA blends funk and radio-ready R&B beautifully, and is a must for any fan of Rufus or Khan.