Sunday, 30 January 2011

Terry Callier - What Color Is Love?

Vocal color

I've been listening to and writing about vocalists over the last few days so I've been continuing this Sunday to dip in and out of what I have or can get a listen to in this vocal bag of goodies. However, I made the mistake of grabbing for Rod Stewart's latest - which I will need to qualify once I have explained the hurt to my aural hand. This unlucky dip was into his new greatest hits classic American songbook album - just released, apparently, in time for Valentine's Day. It's a dreadful album and I think there are five eight-years-in-the-making from which this the best of has culled its collection so the chaff must be appalling. My qualification is, not surprisingly, I regard Rod Stewart as one of the great vocalists. I clearly refer to his earliest R&B days, time with Jeff Beck, with the Faces, and much of his solo career. I even liked much of his 'Soulbook' collection. Just listen to live recordings and 'The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998'. He's brilliant. But don't listen to this Valentine vomitorium.

What's Terry Callier got to do with this? What color are his vocals? The answer to the first question is I simply wanted something to listen to that reminded me of a distinctive vocal and his was to hand. It's a laid-back and sweetly smooth representation of its time. Not a silly songbook standard in sight. The answer to the second question must be blue because that's all she can see even looking the other way.

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