November 18, 2009

WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE A PRO BLUSH:

Betty Davis: A 'Nasty Gal' Ahead Of Her Time (Meredith Ochs, 10/28/09, All Things Considered)

Funk and R&B singer Betty Davis was influenced by close friends like Jimi Hendrix and her ex-husband, jazz legend Miles Davis. In 1975, visionary music mogul Chris Blackwell signed her to his Island Records label, which released her groundbreaking album Nasty Gal; it's just been reissued on CD.

Davis' sexy growl conjures images of her the way she looked onstage in the '70s — thigh-high silver boots, hot pants, massive afro. Davis was Sly Stone, Mick Jagger and The Jimi Hendrix Experience all rolled into one woman. Sly Stone bassist Larry Graham once said that, although Davis didn't play anything, her mind, body and spirit were her instruments. In this album's title track, you can hear that her singing doesn't just represent a voice; it's a supernatural force she's using to break social conventions, push funk to the extreme and propel herself as an artist.



Posted by Orrin Judd at November 18, 2009 12:55 PM
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