Dee Dee Bridgewater – 1974 – Afro Blue
Dee Dee’s first, she was just 23 and she sounds as beautiful as she looks. What a debut. And what a great band she had behind her too, led by the Bridgewater brothers and with Sir Roland too. But this show is all about Dee Dee, especially her take on the title track.
A1 Afro Blue 8:25
A2 Love Vibrations 5:52
A3 Blues Medley (Everyday I Have The Blues / Stormy Monday) 8:06
B1 Little B’s Poem 3:06
B2 Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head 4:37
B3 Love From The Sun 5:23
B4 People Make The World Go Round 4:45
One of the greatest jazz vocal albums of all time – and one of the first true moments of genius from a young Dee Dee Bridgewater! The album’s a Japanese only release (proof that they’re always hipper to our jazz artists than we are!) – and it features Dee Dee singing material that’s quite different than her later R&B-inflected sides from the late 70s – very soaring and spiritual work, delivered in a way that set a whole new standard for jazz at the time!
Backing is by a small combo with brothers Ron and Cecil Bridgwater, plus Roland Hanna on acoustic and electric piano, George Mraz on bass, and Motohiko Hino on drums and percussion – but the star of the set is always Dee Dee, who sparkles beautifully on the album’s classic versions of “Afro Blue” and “Little B’s Poem” – both of which have been redone by many other singers over the years. Other great cuts include “People Make The World Go Round“. This album first came out on Trio, a brilliant Japanese label that delivered some great music, mostly jazz.
Dee Dee Bridgewater’s debut album ‘Afro Blue’ was recorded in Tokyo in 1974 with a quintet including her brothers Trumpeter Cecil and Saxophonist Ron and Roland Hanna on Piano. Dee Dee’s pure voice resonates throughout and the band really cook on the magnificent versions of Mongo’s ‘Afro Blue’ and Bobby Hutcherson’s ‘Little B’s Poem’. The gentle versions of ‘Love from the Sun’, Horace Silver’s ‘Love Vibrations’ and ‘People Make the World Go round’ really illustrate the beauty of her voice. It remains her best groove oriented Jazz album and is an essential classic.