Toni Lynn Washington: It’s My Turn Now

For jump blues and classic R&B with a dash of sass you can’t beat Toni Lynn Washington’s It’s My Turn Now (Tone-Cool 1163; 63:08). Backed by a Roomful Of Blues-styled outfit of groovehounds, her soulful, sultry vocals shine on covers by Ashford & Simpson, Earl King and Johnny Guitar Watson as well as a handful of catchy originals by guitarist Tim Gearan. Her reading of the slow blues “Who Will The Next Fool Be” is wracked with emotion and pain, then she turns around and delivers Johnny Guitar Watson’s “You Can Stay But That Noise Must Go” with requisite humor and funk. And her sly sense of swing on jazzy shuffles like “Ain’t Gonna Cry No More,” “I’m Leaving You” and “Teardrops From My Eyes” is unrivaled. Toni Lynn may not be as well known to the general record-buying public as other R&B divas like Ruth Brown, Etta James and Irma Thomas, but she certainly ranks up there with the very best of the genre.