IRMA THOMAS

Simply Grand

2008-08-12

"Simply Grand" -- a simply great concept for a simply great blues artist. Irma Thomas pairs up with 12 accomplished blues/jazz pianists and allows their keyboard work to gracefully adorn her signature vocals. Highlights include the songs with Henry Butler(#1, doing a John Fogerty tune), Dr. John (#2 and #8), Jon Clary (#3), Norah Jones (#7) and John Medeski (#11). Medeski's relentless piano pounding is particularly well done and I think the Butler and Jones cuts are also mighty fine. Irma is finally getting her due. After an early overlooked career, the "Soul Queen of New Orleans" was brought back into the spotlight by Rounder in the late '90s. We're all musically better for that. 08/08 MJVD B-Diva

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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