(4 / 5)
Class. Pure class. That just about sums up soul artist Phyllis Hyman. Here we have a much welcomed anthology, a two disc homage to the much loved, late and legendary vocalist Phyllis Hyman.
This double CD offering delivers 33 cuts in total; focused on the Pittsburgh-born entertainer’s years with Buddah Records and Arista Records; in addition to all her charted tracks released between 1976-1985.
The set – 16 cuts on disc one and 17 tracks on the second CD – includes “You Know How To Love Me”, “Somewhere In My Lifetime” and “Betcha By Golly Wow”. This lovely compilation was produced by SoulMusic Records’ founder David Nathan, who began interviewing Phyllis in 1977 and maintained his association with her until 1995, the year of her passing.
It contains guest appearances by Norman Connors, Grover Washington Jr., Pharaoh Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Michael Hnderson, Tom Scott and Barry Manilow. Her duets with Michael Henderson: “Can’t We Fall In Love Again” and “We Both Need Each Other” are included along with 12” single versions of “Kiss You All Over”, the Thom Bell-Linda Creed composition, “Loving You, Losing You” and “Living Inside Your Love”.
Other highlights include the Bell-produced “Magic Mona”, “Just Imagine…” (from the Norman Connors’ album, “You Are My Starship”) and “In A Sentimental Mood”, from the Broadway musical “Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies”, which garnered Phyllis a Tony nomination in 1981.
In addition, four obscure tracks that remained unreleased until issued on UK compilations in the last ten years, are also included. Plus, much-loved gems such as “I Don’t Want To Lose You”, her self-penned “Gonna Make Changes”, “No One Can Love You More”, and “Be Careful (How You Treat My Love)”.
Liner notes include quotes from Stanley Clarke, Onaje Allen Gumbs, Jean Carn, Preston Glass, Narada Michael Walden and others. Plus a personal tribute by David Nathan.
By Christopher Weston
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’