Dee Dee Bridgewater: Memphis…Yes, I’m Ready

Dee Dee Bridgewater delivers arguably her most heart-felt album here, a tribute to the earthy sounds and grooves of her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. She does right by bringing together locals like Kirk Whalum/ts-bs along with John Stoddart/key, Lawrence Mitchell/perc, Charles Hodges/B3, Jackie Clark/b, Garry Goin/g, James Sexton/dr and a hip horn and vocal backup team.

In this tribute to the voices, instruments and grit of Memphis, the album covers all the streets of the famed town, with sweaty soul sounds from Isaac Haye’s “B.A.B.Y” to down home growls on “Hound Dog.” The juke joint jumps as Dee Dee delivers some country fried chicken on a smoky “Giving Up “ with  Hodges steamy Hammond, and she coos with cozy delight on a 70s R&B-fested “Yes I’m Ready.” Her tribute to Otis Redding produces a wonderful climax to “Try A Little Tenderness” after the horns deliver a rich aria intro, while her doff to Tina Turner is a haunting “I Can’t Stand The Rain.” Closing up,  she takes you back to the birth of R&B, the church as she preaches with a choir on the Sunday Morning take of “(Take My Heart) Precious Lord.” She puts the soul back into soul music on this one!

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