CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

JazzTimes 10: Great Blue Note Tracks from the 1970s

Paying long-overdue tribute to the label’s most underappreciated era

5. Marlena Shaw: “Feel Like Makin’ Love” (from Who Is This Bitch, Anyway?, 1974)
When Blue Note signed Marlena Shaw, it found a song stylist with blues sensibilities similar to Esther Phillips, Nancy Wilson, and Kellee Patterson—singers who could make significant inroads in both R&B and jazz circles. Shaw’s simmering cover of Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” attests to her interpretive brilliance, as she imbues the lyrics with grittier sensuality and more declarative sexual yearning. One can argue that her embracing of contemporary popular tunes provided a guiding light for 1990s Blue Note artists such as Cassandra Wilson and Dianne Reeves to do the same.

Check the price of Who Is This Bitch, Anyway? on Amazon!

John Murph

John Murph is a Washington, D.C.-based music journalist and DJ. He’s written for numerous outlets that include JazzTimes, DownBeat, NPR Jazz, JazzWise, The Root, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. He hosts a weekly radio program at Eaton Hotel DC.