Dec 12, 2015

RhoDeo 1549 Grooves


Today's artist had a coloratura soprano vocal range. Aside from her various hits, she is perhaps best remembered today for her ability to sing in the whistle register, in which she had rare facility. Her vocal range spanned five octaves, rare ability to enunciate in the high registers set her apart from most other whistle-register singers. This feature is most notably heard in the song "Here We Go", where she sings "here we go" in the whistle register. Whistle-register enunciation can also be heard in songs such as "Inside My Love", "Adventures in Paradise", "Expecting", "Only When I'm Dreaming", and also in "Teach Me How to Fly" and "Like a Rolling Stone" with the Rotary Connection. She was also noted for her ability to sound almost mechanical or instrumental in the whistle register. In "You Take My Breath Away", she sang a portamento ending two octaves above the staff. She has also been credited for her ability to sustain notes in the sixth and seventh octave for long periods of time, as in "Reasons", "Could It Be I'm in Love", "Adventures in Paradise", and "Inside My Love", and also "Love Me Now" with the Rotary Connection. Having an innate ability to imitate many instruments helped lead to her discovery while she was a secretary at Chess Records. In her recordings, the highest recorded note reached in the whistle register was F7 on the third scale of "You Take My Breath Away". She reached this extremely high note before on an early recording of "Teach Me How to Fly" and "Could It Be I'm in Love". Also in a live performance of the song "Ruby Tuesday" from Rotary Connection, she sang an F#7. In the song "Loving You" she sings a walkdown on the A Major scale from F#6 to A5.. . ... N'joy

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Riperton was born in Chicago to Thelma and Daniel Riperton, a Pullman porter. The youngest of eight children in a musical family, she embraced the arts early. Although she began with ballet and modern dance, her parents recognized her vocal and musical abilities and encouraged her to pursue music and voice. At Chicago's Lincoln Center, she received operatic vocal training from Marion Jeffery. She practiced breathing and phrasing, with particular emphasis on diction. Jeffery also trained Riperton to use her full range. While studying under Jeffery, she sang operettas and show tunes, in preparation for a career in opera. Jeffery was so convinced of her pupil's abilities that she strongly pushed her to further study the classics at Chicago's Junior Lyric Opera. The young Riperton was, however, becoming very interested in soul, rhythm and blues, and rock. After graduating from Hyde Park High School, now Hyde Park Career Academy, she enrolled at Loop College and became a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. She dropped out of college to pursue her music career.

Riperton's first professional singing engagement was with The Gems, when she was 15. Raynard Miner, a blind pianist, heard her singing during her stint with Hyde Park's A Cappella Choir and became her musical patron. The Gems had relatively limited commercial success, but proved to be a good outlet for Riperton's talent. Eventually the group became a session group known as Studio Three and it was during this period that they provided the backing vocals on the classic 1965 Fontella Bass hit "Rescue Me".  In 1964, The Gems released a local hit, I Can't Help Myself, and their last single, He Makes Me Feel So Good, was released in 1965. The Gems later released records under numerous names—most notably 1966's Baby I Want You by the Girls Three and 1967's My Baby's Real by the Starlets. The latter has achieved cult status with northern soul fans and remains a favorite. It was a Motown-style song reminiscent of Tammi Terrell. In 1967, Riperton met songwriter Richard Rudolph, whom she married five years later. They have a son named Marc, and their daughter is Maya Rudolph, a successful television and film actress/comedienne. In 1968, Watered Down was released as a follow-up, under the name The Starlets. It was the last release of Riperton's former girl group.

Riperton's first solo album, Come to My Garden, produced, arranged, and orchestrated by Charles Stepney, was released in 1970 by GRT Records. She was presented as a solo artist by Ramsey Lewis on Saturday, December 26, 1970 at Chicago's famed London House. She performed several numbers from the album accompanied by Charles Stepney, the album's producer. Although commercially unsuccessful, Come to My Garden is now considered a masterpiece by music critics and many others in the music industry.

In 1973, a college intern for Epic Records found Riperton in semi-retirement. She had become a housewife and a mother of two in Gainesville, Florida. After he heard a demo of the song "Seeing You This Way", the rep took the tape to Don Ellis, VP of A&R for Epic. Riperton signed with Epic Records, and the family moved to Los Angeles, California. The subsequent record, Perfect Angel, turned out to be one of Riperton's best-selling albums. Included were the rock-soul anthem "Reasons"; the second single, "Take a Little Trip" (written by Stevie Wonder, who also coproduced the album); and the third single, "Seeing You This Way". Sales of the album started out slow. Epic was ready to move on to the next record, but Rudolph convinced them to release another single. With the fourth single, "Lovin' You", the album caught on, and in April 1975, the song went to the top of the charts in the U.S. and 24 other countries. The song reached #2 in the UK, and number three on the U.S. R&B charts. It sold more than one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA in April 1975. Perfect Angel went gold and Riperton was finally revered as the "lady with the high voice and flowers in her hair.

After Perfect Angel, Riperton and Richard Rudolph started on Riperton's third album, Adventures in Paradise (1975). Joe Sample of The Crusaders cowrote the title song, "Adventures in Paradise", and Crusaders producer Stewart Levine co-produced the album. While shooting a promotional clip for the album, she was attacked by a lion, but was not seriously injured. During an appearance on The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show, she played the footage of the incident for Sammy and her fellow guests, including Richard Pryor. The album was a modest success. Despite the R&B hit "Inside My Love" (a #5 U.S. R&B hit, later covered by Trina Broussard, Chanté Moore, and Delilah (musician) ), the album did not match the success of Perfect Angel. Some radio stations refused to play "Inside My Love" due to the lyrics: "Will you come inside me?" Her fourth album for Epic Records entitled Stay in Love featured another collaboration with Stevie Wonder in the funky disco tune "Stick Together". She also sang backup on Wonder's songs "Creepin'" from 1974's Fullfillingness' First Finale and "Ordinary Pain" from 1976's Songs in the Key of Life and was mentioned prominently in his song "Positivity" on A Time to Love. In 1977, Riperton lent her vocal abilities to a track named, "Yesterday and Karma", on Osamu Kitajima's album, "Osamu". In 1978, Riperton's attorney Mike Rosenfeld and her husband, Richard Rudolph, orchestrated a move to Capitol Records for Riperton and her CBS Records catalog. In April 1979, Riperton released her fifth and final album, Minnie. During the recording of the album, her cancer progressed to the point that she was in a great deal of pain.[3] "Memory Lane" was a hit from the album, and was arguably Riperton's greatest work. Riperton incorporated the sadness of the ending of a relationship while suddenly shifting to cries of "I don't want to go," "save me," "now I'm slippin' fast," "thought it was over; here I go again," and "travelin' down, faster than the speed of sound." It is thought that "Memory Lane" was her farewell to her family and to the world. Her last televised performance was on an episode of The Merv Griffin Show (aired July 6, 1979), during which she performed Memory Lane and Lover and Friend.

Riperton had revealed on the The Tonight Show on August 24, 1976, that she had undergone a mastectomy due to breast cancer. At the time of her diagnosis (January 76), Riperton found out her cancer had already spread to the lymphatic system, and was given about six months to live. She continued touring in 1977 and 1978, and became the national spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society's 1978–79 campaign. Extreme lymphedema immobilized her right arm in early 1979. In her final singing appearances on television (most notably on the Mike Douglas Show), her right arm would remain in a fixed position during her performances. By mid-June, she was confined to bed. She entered Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on July 10. On Thursday, July 12 at 10 am, while lying in her husband's arms, Riperton died while listening to a recording Stevie Wonder had made for her. That Sunday, following a funeral service attended by more than five hundred mourners, Riperton was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Her epitaph is the opening line of her most famous song: "Lovin' you is easy cause you're beautiful."

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Minnie Riperton's solo debut is in many respects her finest hour -- devoid of the overly syrupy production that hampers her later work, Come to My Garden instead couches her miraculous voice in the elegant arrangements of the great Charles Stepney, striking a perfect balance between romantic melodrama and sensual nuance. Call Stepney's singular approach "chamber soul"--the nimble melodies and insistent grooves swell with orchestral flourishes, while the jazz-inspired rhythms (courtesy of Ramsey Lewis' group) at times evoke Van Morrison's masterpiece Astral Weeks. Stepney creates the ideal backdrop for Riperton's soaring vocals, which reveal a subtlety and restraint absent from the glass-shattering bombast of her subsequent performances -- the opening "Les Fleurs" (covered decades later by 4Hero) crystallizes the entire record, embracing both intimacy and majesty to haunting effect.

Minnie Riperton - Come To My Garden  (flac 225mb)

01 Les Fleur 3:08
02 Completeness 3:27
03 Come To My Garden 3:16
04 Memory Band 4:06
05 Rainy Day In Centerville 5:21
06 Close Your Eyes (And Remember) 3:40
07 Oh By The Way 3:03
08 Expecting 3:54
09 Only When I'm Dreaming 3:26
10 Whenever Wherever 3:31

Minnie Riperton - Come To My Garden   (ogg 85mb)

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Perfect Angel is the best Minnie Riperton album, and still the closest she came to stardom. Stevie Wonder chipped in on drums, keyboards, and other instruments, and also wrote several tracks. "Reasons" was her finest uptempo tune, while the title track was a wonderful change-of-pace number. She also got her biggest hit, "Lovin' You," which became a signature tune. Adventures in Paradise, the follow-up to Perfect Angel -- an album featuring Minnie Riperton's biggest hit, much assistance from Stevie Wonder, and several of his associates, as well as an iconic outer sleeve -- tends to be viewed as a flop, at least by those who disregard Minnie as a novelty one-hit wonder. If the album is a flop on principle because none of its three singles was as big as "Lovin' You," or because Stevie was no longer around, so be it, but it's borderline classic by any other measure. The key collaborators here, outside of Minnie's songwriting husband Richard Rudolph, include keyboardist Joe Sample, guitarist Larry Carlton, saxophonist Tom Scott, and harpist Dorothy Ashby. Hardly poor substitutes. Most importantly, the album's three central songs were co-written with Leon Ware, who had come up with the Jackson 5's "I Wanna Be Where You Are" and was on the brink of writing what would become the entirety of Marvin Gaye's I Want You, along with his own excellent Musical Massage. Each of the Riperton/Rudolph/Ware songs ooze playful sensuality, desire, and lust -- especially "Inside My Love" (a Top 30 R&B single), a swooning slow jam filled with double entendres. If it weren't for the supremely seductive innocence in Minnie's voice, the words would likely fall flat in their directness. The opener, "Baby, This Love I Have," is even more heated, with Minnie's frustrated yearning wrapped around a lithe arrangement. The songs written by Minnie and Rudolph alone match up well with the best of Perfect Angel, and they're deceptively eclectic, mixing and matching soul and rock with touches of country and adult pop. It did not do nearly as well as it deserved.

Minnie Riperton - Perfect Angel + Adventures in Paradise  (flac 458mb)

Perfect Angel (1974)
01 Reasons 3:27
02 It's So Nice (To See Old Friends) 4:45
03 Take A Little Trip 4:09
04 Seeing You This Way 2:45
05 The Edge Of A Dream 4:22
06 Perfect Angel 3:43
07 Every Time He Comes Around 3:55
08 Lovin' You 3:44
09 Our Lives 5:59

Adventures In Paradise (1975)
10 Baby, This Love I Have 4:11
11 Feelin' That Your Feelin's Right 4:22
12 When It Comes Down To It 3:20
13 Minnie's Lament 4:13
14 Love And It's Glory 5:13
15 Adventures In Paradise 3:14
16 Inside My Love 4:49
17 Alone In Brewster Bay 4:26
18 Simple Things 3:41
19 Don't Let Anyone Bring You 3:00

Minnie Riperton - Perfect Angel + Adventures in Paradise   (ogg 180mb)

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A well-chosen anthology spanning Minnie Ripperton's most creative and musically satisfying decade from the late sixties onwards. As Lovin' You demonstrates, Minnie was in possession of a breathtaking multi-octave vocal range. However, this collection also testifies to the sheer quality of her songwriting and breadth of musical vision. Minnie's talent clearly included the ability to co-produce her own songs, choose the best producers and musicians to work with and the refusal to waste her vocal talent on throwaway material (a frequent flaw in so many performers in this field). It is true that this is an album of mostly sweet, mid-tempo soul rather than out and out dance floor material but it really does encompass most of the enduring sounds and textures of 1970s Black American music. You could also say the same for the much-sampled soul-jazz of Inside My Love from 1975, which, like so many of Minnie's songs is just incredibly yet understatedly sexy. It was co-written and produced by Minnie and will also be familiar to anybody who has seen Quentin Tarrantino's "Jackie Brown". Memory Lane, from 1979, is very much in the same rich vein as Curtis Mayfield's best `70s output (a big Norman Jay tune). Another highlight is Young, Willing And Able, with its jazzy, Roy Ayers-like feel. This album is a fantastic tribute to her amazing, enduring talent and is ultimately a great collection of top quality soul music.

Minnie Riperton - The Minnie Riperton Anthology  (flac 404mb)

01 I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun (with Rotary Connection) 5:45
02 Reasons 3:27
03 Every Time He Comes Around 3:52
04 Young, Willing And Able 3:46
05 Inside My Love 4:41
06 Memory Lane 4:25
07 Love Hurts 3:38
08 Here We Go (feat Peabo Bryson) 4:05
09 You Take My Breath Away 4:32
10 Strange Affair 7:57
11 Take A Little Trip 4:11
12 I'm A Woman 3:59
13 Lovin' You 3:46
14 Les Fleur 3:16
15 Light My Fire (feat Jose Feliciano) 5:10

 Minnie Riperton - The Minnie Riperton Anthology (ogg 154mb)

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