Minnie Riperton Turns 69!

 

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Photoshoot from 1975 in L.A. (credit Michael Ochs Archives)

 

Today marks the 69th birthday of daughter, mother, wife, songstress, and songwriter Minnie Riperton. Riperton passed on July 12th, 1979. She was 31 years old. Gone Too Soon! It has been 38 years since the multi-octave, Angelic voice that dwelled inside her was silenced forever.

We remember Minnie Riperton for her remarkable voice – a lyric coloratura soprano, which she used to set new vocal parameters in pop music. Classically trained in Opera, Riperton vocally backed artists such as Etta James and Stevie Wonder, and in her own career, she was able to subtly blend her agile opera styles into the soul and R&B music she sang.

Ultimately, she set the high note template for the likes of Mariah Carey and others in pop music.

Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1976. However, she continued recording, touring, was nominated for an American Music Award for favorite soul/R&B Female Artist, as well as became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society until her death 3 years later.

Minnie Riperton’s Legacy is rooted in her vocal Perfection and her ability to communicate the sentiments of a song to the masses like no other. Happy Birthday, Minnie Riperton!

AAMAM: Stevie Wonder-Spiritual Redemption and Genius Part 3 of 30

stevie20wonderStevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” released on July 31st 1973, is a tale of second chances given by God and the tremendous effort put forth to make the best of that second chance until life is done or you reach that ‘higher ground’.  The song, for Wonder, took on a more spiritual meaning after his near death experience on August 3rd 1973 a few days after the song was released. Wonder was badly injured in a car accident wherein which he lay in a coma for several days.  After he recovered, he believed the song was a sign of what was to come. From that point on Wonder contends he was thankful to be alive and got his act together.

You musicians will revel in this song because Wonder single handedly  wrote, played all the instruments, and recorded this highly intricate and rhythmically dense track in 3 hrs at the tender age of 22! Genius? Yep!

Listen closely to the lyrics then listen again to the music. Be sure to turn it up!

Happy AAMAM!

Your Sunday iPod add: Tony Momrelle’s Soul From Across the Pond

momrelle1Welcome to your iPod add.

Today I’m going to introduce you to that new soulful voice you’ve been looking for for some time now.  He’s singer songwriter, Tony Momrelle! He has been laying down amazing groove oriented soul from across the pond for years.  Sorry, your favorite terrestrial radio station may be clueless to who he is and thus will never air his talent in any rotation. Their loss! Momrelle is a talent who has for years been the lead vocalist for the flat out bad ass British band Incognito; a featured vocalist for the dance and smooth grooves group Reel People; as well as a backing vocalist for my girl, Sade. Yep!

Momerelle with Sade

Momerelle with Sade

Momrelle’s Extended Play (EP) titled Fly was release almost a year ago and is still kickin’ today. The standout tracks are the eponymous “Fly”–an up tempo jam with a James Brown “funky drummer” shuffle rhythm which opens up a vast space where Momrelle demonstrates bright flashes of the vocal stylings of Stevie Wonder.  His lyrics are both simple and fantastically poetic.  Upon listening to the song, SoulBounce writer Ivory, stated, “Hope and happiness seem just within reach on this joint” and imagined through the lyrics “getting away from it all could be so simple.”  While his second track Spotlight spins a tale of meeting that special someone amid a crowd of people.  This cut finds Momrelle’s voice settled deep in the soul aesthetic surrounded by a driving groove.

This is Tony Momrelle Ladies and Gentlemen! Take a listen and know this is the soulful voice you been looking for. Add some Momrelle to your iPod and you will thank me later!

Check out “Fly”

Check out “Spotlight”