Etta James & Eddie Cleanhead Vinson: Please Send Me Someone To Love
Please Send Me Someone to Love
Blues in the Night, Vol. 1: The Early Show (Fantasy 9647-2)
Richard Reid (bass guitar), Paul Humphrey (drums).
Composed by Percy Mayfield.
Recorded: live at Marla's Memory Lane Supper Club, Los Angeles, CA, May 30-31, 1986
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
No truth in advertising here. James and Vinson sing together on just one track on each of the two CDs drawn from a live club date in 1986. Perhaps that was for the best, because Etta is in magnificent form and Eddie, through no fault of his own, can't quite match her. In their careers, both artists proved comfortable performing R&B, blues, and jazz, and here they unite for a priceless version of Percy Mayfield's R&B classic, "Please Send Me Someone to Love." The live atmosphere is electric, as the supper club crowd is obviously psyched.
After a transfixing blues guitar intro by Shuggie Otis, James and Vinson alternate verses, and Etta's more intense style contrasts nicely with Eddie's much more laid-back delivery. James' quavers, melismas, and biting inflections seem to elicit a greater reaction from the audience than Vinson's vocals, which sound like a combination of Billy Eckstine and Arthur Prysock. Unfortunately, "Cleanhead" doesn't play his boppish alto on this track, but Red Holloway's tenor solo more than makes up for that, offering a soulfully unrestrained lesson in blues saxophone eloquence. For two nights in May of 1986, James and Vinson gave those in attendance at Marla's Memory Lane Supper Club a time to always remember, even if they only rarely shared the bandstand.
Reviewer: Scott Albin