Roberta Flack – First Take (1969/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Roberta Flack – First Take (1969/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 46:16 minutes | 2,03 GB | Genre: Pop, R&B
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | © Rhino Atlantic

First Take is Roberta Flack’s debut album and was released in 1969. The track “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” became a #1 hit in the US after being featured in Clint Eastwood’s film Play Misty for Me in 1971. After the song hit #1, the album also went to #1 on the U.S. album chart.

Roberta Flack’s debut album, titled First Take in true underachiever fashion, introduced a singer who’d assimilated the powerful interpretive talents of Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan, the earthy power of Aretha Franklin, and the crystal purity and emotional resonance of folksingers like Judy Collins. Indeed, the album often sounded more like vocal jazz or folk than soul, beginning with the credits: a core quartet of Flack on piano, John Pizzarelli on guitar, Ron Carter on bass, and Ray Lucas on drums, as fine a lineup as any pop singer could hope to recruit. With only one exception — the bluesy, grooving opener “Compared to What,” during which Flack proves her chops as a soul belter — she concentrates on readings of soft, meditative material. A pair of folk covers, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” are heart-wrenching standouts; the first even became a surprise hit two years later, when its appearance in the Clint Eastwood film Play Misty for Me pushed it to the top of the pop charts and earned Flack her first Grammy award for Record of the Year. Her arrangement of the traditional “I Told Jesus” has a simmering power, while “Ballad of the Sad Young Men” summons a stately sense of melancholy. Flack also included two songs from her college friend and future duet partner, Donny Hathaway, including a tender examination of the classic May-December romance titled “Our Ages or Our Hearts.” The string arrangements of William Fischer wisely keep to the background, lending an added emotional weight to all of Flack’s pronouncements. No soul artist had ever recorded an album like this, making First Take one of the most fascinating soul debuts of the era.

01 – Compared to What
02 – Angelitos Negros
03 – Our Ages or Our Hearts
04 – I Told Jesus
05 – Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
06 – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
07 – Tryin’ Times
08 – Ballad of the Sad Young Men

Roberta Flack: Piano, Vocals
Bucky Pizzarelli: Guitars
Ron Carter: Bass
Ray Lucas: Drums, Percussion
Seldon Powell, Frank Wess: Saxophone
Charles McCracken, George Ricci: Cello
Benny Powell: Trombone
Jimmy Nottingham, Joe Newman: Trumpet
Emanuel Green, Gene Orloff: Violin
Alfred Brown, Selwart Clarke, Theodore Israel: Viola
William Fischer: Horn & String Arrangements, String Conducting

Produced By Joel Dorn
Recorded & Engineered By William Arit
Mixing: Bob Liftin
Additional engineering – Robert Honablue