March 23, 2012

My Friend Legendary Roberta Flack is Celebrating 4 Decades of Making GRAMMY History (still unmatched today)

It's been 4 decades since the legendary Roberta Flack won her first GRAMMY Award, and when she won her 2nd GRAMMY, she made history as the only artist to win back-to-back GRAMMYs for Record of the Year ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly").  Today she remains the only solo artist (male or female) to have that honor, and  it took the most famous band in the world--  U2 -- almost 30 years to match what she did as a solo artist for "Beautiful Day" and "Walk On."  "Let it Be: Roberta Flack Sings the Beatles" (available on iTunes and is her first CD in 8 years and her first CD to break into the Billboard Album 200 chart in 23 years (debuted at #30). I hope you support this legend as her CD has critics singing her praises -- and welcoming her back!!

“On each track, Ms. Flack transforms the familiar with her penetrating, soulful voice and passionate phrasing… On the album, Ms. Flack's alto voice still rings with yearning and cooing vulnerability.  As comebacks go, Ms. Flack's seems to be well under way.”
                        --Marc Myers, Wall Street Journal

“Flack’s takes on the Beatles keep pulling away from the usual flow of the tunes to find in them as many fresh angles as possible. Flack’s vocals take just as many interesting turns. She keeps pushing phrases in new directions, like someone admiring a cherished vase in different light. While her readings can sound relaxed, they’re never lazy. They’re lived in.”   --Jim Farber, NY Daily News

“She knows full well that she's dealing with the ghosts of the original versions. She knows, and she addresses it by reconfiguring the 12 songs she's chosen to sing into fascinating new shapes and arrangements, not exactly escaping the original versions, but giving them a fresh new direction by jazzy shifts in the melodies, and pinning them to inventive and very contemporary rhythms and recording techniques.” Steve Leggett, All Music

“Flack deserves a round of applause for not merely sauntering through these staples as-is, but rather bravely reinventing them, lovingly deconstructing them then rebuilding them in smooth modernity, retaining enough of the original melodies to keep them familiar but otherwise toying with their every nuance.”  Ben Wener, Orange County Register

“Roberta Flack gives us a lovely paean to popular music’s most influential band. Flack’s tribute to the Beatles brims with her signature warmth, her uncluttered musicianship and her sweet interpretative skills.  This is a melodic gem for B+  --Mario Tarradell, Dallas Morning News

“Flack brings a fresh edge and strong personality,”  Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Inquirer

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First Single “We Can Work It Out” Getting Great Play, Tour Dates Confirmed,  Dance Remixes and More Planned for the American Music Icon

(March 1, 2012) Santa Monica, CA:  Roberta Flack, the four-time  Grammy Award-winning legend, has long been known as an unparalleled musician who effortlessly inhabits  the worlds of pop,  soul, R&B, jazz and folk.   From her very first recording, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” which hit #1 in the U.S across all charts, Flack has created strong emotional bonds with her listeners through her poignant musicality and unerring stylizations while also shining an uncompromising light onto the culture and politics of the times.   Back in the spotlight after performing a memorable duet with the most-nominated artist of the evening Maxwell at the2010 Grammy Awards (“…and with just one note, Ms. Flack put the young man in his place.” Time Magazine), Flack released “Let it Be: Roberta Flack Sings the Beatles” on February 7, 2012—her first in more than 8 years.  Newly signed to a partnership of 429 Records, Sony ATV Music Publishing and Flack’s RAS Records, the album was produced by Sherrod Barnes, who has also produced Beyonce and Angie Stone, with contributing producers Jerry Barnes and BarryMiles (Sony Music will release the album in Japan).  A single from thecollection “We Can Work It Out” currently is on the charts.

Says Roberta:  “My passion for this project comes from the magical genius of the greatest songwriters of all time.  Love, inspiration, friendship and my own life’s lessons come together when I sing the songs they created.   I am honored to be a part of the fabulous legacy of the Beatles.”

Says Yoko Ono Lennon:  “The Beatle’s songs are all sung with love, whether it is love for each other, a place or a time…that’s why these songs are timeless and the number of people who are singing them keeps increasing as the years go by.  With this collection, Roberta is adding a woman’s voice of fun and joy and, again, making people realize how universal these songs are.  Thank, you, Roberta, you are the greatest.”  Yoko Ono Lennon (excerpt from album liner notes).

Since bursting onto the scene in 1969 with the blockbuster album “First Take” (produced by the legendary Joel Dorn), she’s followed her fiercely uncompromising lyrical and musical muses earning her a place alongside pioneering artists such as Aretha Franklin, Elton John, and Nina Simone.  A multiple Grammy winner, she is the only artist along with U2 to win “Record of the Year” in consecutive years (for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly”).  Although she’s taken some time between recordings, she’s never stopped performing having constantly toured worldwide.  A  national treasure, Flack gives her time freely to a host of charitable and humanitarian causes--among them the ASPCA (spokesperson of the year for 2011) and the Roberta Flack School of Music in Bronx, NY (which she founded in 2006).