Sunday, April 24, 2011
Chaka Khan and Rufus
To Chaka's credit , however she did maintain ties with her former band and occasionally re-united with them for gigs and recordings. And her solo success was well-deserved as was evident on her solo debut,which featured her soaring , Aretha Franklin-influenced range and power. The album included the crossover hit , "I'm Every Woman",an Ashford and Simpson composition that helped the album go platinum in 1978. The Rufus reunion "Masterjam" came in 1979 ,followed by 1982's jazz oriented "Echoes Of An Era" and a funk-pop self titled release that contained the jazz-inflected "Bebop Medley" that showed off her impressive jazz and scatting chops ,won a Grammy and earned praise from venerable jazz legend Betty Carter.
During this somewhat experimental period in Kahn's artistic endeavors, she received much critical praise, however commercially there was a noticable drop-off. It was in 1984 with the release of her sixth studio album, I Feel For You that her career underwent a major resurgence. The album's title track was a Prince composition that featured a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder and an intro by Grandmaster Melle Mel. It went to #3 in the Billboard top 100 and remained on the charts for 26 weeks, well into 1985, when it netted a Grammy Award for Prince as Best Song. Chaka Kahn herself has won 10 Grammy Awards , the BET Life Achievement Award , 2 Soul Train Awards , and many other well-deserved items of recognition. She also plays drums as evidenced in the following vid:
Chaka Kahn is my personal favorite r&b female singer ,and in my opinion no contemporary artist has matched her combination of chops, power,and diversity . A vocalist like her is a rare breed these days.