Better Than Anything
Nnenna Freelon's special allure is her brilliance. She's smart, sharp and sassy with an irresistible vitality that captivates and elevates. She's as great as anyone out there now, and goodness gracious what a voice! As clear as a bell and as refreshing as a very cool drink of water from a pure running stream. Nnenna is bright. And totally inventive. She's right on point. And off. We can dig it.
The breadth and depth of her musical gestalt is truly remarkable from a stylistic standpoint. From straight-ahead bop ("Better Than Anything") to gospel ("Balm in Gilead"), from soul ("Ooh Child") to pop ("Nature Boy"), from Latin ("I Won't Dance") to funky Reggae ("Body and Soul") she does it all, and then some. And from Billie Holiday ("Them There Eyes") to Smokey Robinson ("Tears of a Clown"), from Nat King Cole ("Straighten Up and Fly Right" featuring the incredible duet with Grammy winners Take 6), to Cole Porter ("I Won't Dance"), from the irrestible and Grammy nominatated "Button Up Your Overcoat" to Burt Bacharach ("I Say a Little Prayer") and beyond. Her songboook is totally hip, but not too hip for the room. Nnenna's main thing, though, always and in all ways is to really, really swing... under, over, around and through the beat-straight to the heart of the song, where the music truly matters.
This premium selection collection is a reflection and a refraction. It reframes Nnenna's elegant artistry in a revelatory but playful and thoughtful way. These tracks were specifically chosen and sequenced not so much as a Greatest Hits package but to present a holistic big picture of the powerful scope and expanse of Nnenna's artisic appeal. The idea is to create a marvelous singular listening experience that is riveting.
She is showcased here not only at the top of her game, but the game-period. Better Than Anything, a veritable garden of hidden delights culled from her sterling body of work recorded for Concord Records over the past decade , demonstrates Nnenna's virtuoso command of her talent. Her singing simply sparkles and sizzles, and her sensitivity and sensibility are exactly right, right across the breeze and bustle of a seriously global musical kaleidoscope. In other works, fun!
Better Than Anything bristles with joie de vivre. It is an encyclopedic musical tour de force. Nnenna is truly a musical force of nature. And nurture. She is a Master, a Mother, and a Diva. Discovered by legendary producer Dr. George Butler for her first recordings, Nnenna was signed to Concord in 1996 by John Burk, who has also produced some of her very best work.
At Concord, she has blossomed into one of the greatest singers of our time one whose name must certainly be mentioned now in the same breath as only a handful of other contemporaries. She is without question the very epitome of musical elegance expressed as excellence. The time has come for her exquisite music to grace the spotlight because it is good to go. Encore!
I'm a big fan. Aren't you? -Don Mizell