"women in (e)motion: Odetta" - 1993
1. Rambler & Gambler
2. Before I Can Change My Clothes
3. Ninehundred Miles
Going With The Chilly Winds
Another Man Had Gone
Cane On The Brazos
All The Pretty Little Horses
Poor Wayfairing Stranger
Can´t Keep From Crying
4. Until It´s Time For You To Go
5. Carry It Home To Rosie
6. Many Of Miles
7. Why Don´t We Go
8. Black Woman
9. God´s Gonna Cut You Down
Odetta is generally considered to be a folk singer and that is what it says in her biography, too. But this convenient only begins to cover the range of her musical work. Odetta is a folk singer in the broadest sense of the word. Her repertoire and ability cover the broad range of American folk music tradition, and in some cases go beyond. She has an inexhaustible wealth of songs at her fingertips: worksongs, spirituals, children' s songs, blues pieces, singer/songwriter titles, game songs, etc. - many of them traditional, others classics ( or songs, wich in her opinion deserve to be classics, like Buffy Sainte-Maries' "Until it's Time For You to Go").
Odetta's delivery is, nonetheless, far from a mere academic documentation of valuable cultural treasures. Her insistent interpretations show how alive the carefully chosen songs can be, how much meaning they convey, independent of their origin. To achieve this, the black singer expose the essence of the pieces. The simple guitar accompaniment only serves as a base for Odetta's vocal variations in which meaning is drawn out of every line, every word. Her expressive singing style, whether quietly moving the rich history of Afro-American vocal tradition. The reoccurring theme of her work is particularly apparent when she weaves songs of varying origins together in a medley, thus establishing relationships: humanity - a deep human concern.
Odetta has been working as an artist for over forty years. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in Los Angeles. Spontaneous performances in small San Francisco clubs led to her first real gigs. She had her New York concert debut in 1952. Since then she has traveled as a soloist throughout the world, including Afrika, Japan and Russia. Odetta has played at folk, blues and jazz festivals, in famous concert halls, and has been presented with an honorary PhD. as well as numerous prices and awards. Her musical ability has always been inseparably connected to her impressive personality. The like-able, warm-hearted women is close friends with fellow musicians including Harry Belafonte and Pete Seeger. Odetta has always worked for social and political change, from the civil-rights marches of the 1960‘s to the initiatives to the end world hunger or the suffering of the homeless.
At her performance in Bremen in the "women in (e)motion" concert series, a reverent atmosphere filled the church within moments. Odetta does not need large gestures or spectacular presentation. The intensity of her delivery alone, which comes from the soul held the audience captive beyond the last note. This CD recording comes as close to recreating this feeling as a concert recording possibly can — an exceptional documentation of a wonderfull evening.
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