Saturday, June 28, 2014

R.I.P. Bobby Womack: The Poet

Many know his composition "Across 110th Street" from the 1972 film of the same title. It was later used on the soundtracks to Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown (1997) and Ridley Scott's American Gangster (2007), but Bobby Womack contributed so much more to music history, not least the legendary and hugely influential 1981 album 'The Poet' which featured some of L.A.'s best session musicians, including bassist Nathan East, guitarist David T. Walker and drummer James Gadson.

For singers especially, it is vital to have a distinctive voice and Womack was blessed with an unmistakable baritone which he could effortlessly turn from honey smooth to a sandpaper rough in a nano second. In addition, he was a highly gifted guitarist who was able to create sublime riffs, chords and changes that together with his vocals give the listener a natural high.

His many accomplishments and recordings from a 50-year long career are too numerous to list here. I have highlighted 'The Poet', not only because it is a flawless, timeless album, but because it showcases Womack's immense talent for masterful genre "cross pollination", in this case seamlessly mixing soul, gospel, R&B, funk, blues, jazz, rock, rock 'n roll, and country.

R.I.P. Bobby Womack, March 4, 1944 - June 27, 2014.