Freda Payne Hosts COME BACK TO ME LOVE Album Release Concert at B.B. King Blues Club Tonight
As iconic in 2014 for her timeless beauty and sex appeal as she is her artistic versatility as an all around entertainer, Ms. Freda Payne remains among music's and show business' brightest shining star survivors. When she is singing her heartbeat music -- jazz -- love, awe and yearning only grow stronger. Her new album, Come Back To Me Love (her first for Artistry Music) marks not only a return to the big band and strings-laden classics from her mid-`60s beginnings with Impulse!, but also marks a return to her hometown of Detroit. That makes this 14-song album featuring Grammy Award-winner Bill Cunliffe's musical arrangements a beautiful homecoming.
The well-loved entertainer is delighted to kick off the release of Come Back To Me Love with a performance at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City tonight, August 9, 2014. BB King Blues Club & Grill is located at 237 West 42nd Street, New York City. Call 212-997-4144 for details. Tickets are now on sale at www.bbkingblues.com.
"I am excited to be performing at the B.B. King Blues Club," says the seasoned entertainer who maintains her beauty and verve. "It pays homage to an incredibly talented music icon who also is still performing. I am honored to be performing in his house."
The 14-song album was arranged by Cunliffe and includes the breezy, vibes-kissed Kenny Rankin waltz "Haven't We Met" as well as the lonely evening fireplace musings of "Lately." Then there's the classic "Midnight Sun," which takes Payne back to a trip to Norway years ago, and "Save Your Love for Me" that she recalls being performed by Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley years ago. There are also a number of contemporary pop songs with strings.
"It's a dream come true," Payne enthuses, "just like in 1968 when I was living in New York seeking my fame and fortune, and ran into Brian Holland of Holland-Dozier-Holland. He told me they had just left Motown and started their own company, Invictus. I flew back to Detroit, signed with them and a year later had a Top 5 record, 'Band of Gold.'" A short time later, she released another hit, "Bring the Boys Home."
"It is like a flashback to something really good happening for me at home in Detroit, my good luck charm," says Ms. Payne. "It's the springboard where I can replenish like a phoenix rising." Giving flight to this talented phoenix are Gretchen Valade and Tom Robinson of Mack Avenue Records, who penned six of the album's selections, including the title track. Among the classic favorites is Payne's take on the blues boiler, "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water."
Throughout the album, the undeniable influence of Payne's inspiration, the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald, is adoringly present. "Ella's voice is one I have admired since I was 12-years old," she says. "Pristinely precise, pure and perfect. When she sang something as written, she had a dreamy, easy listening voice. But when she scatted and improvised, it was like listening to a seasoned horn player." Among Payne's favorite contemporary artists are songwriter/vocalist Adele ("no gimmicks, no selling sex or wild dancing"), Ledisi (who can "sing into the stratosphere"), Kurt Elling ("an excellent jazz artist"), and Gregory Porter ("I love his voice and writing").
Though best known for her 1970 R&B crossover hit "Band of Gold" (which spent 20 weeks on Billboard's "Top 100 Singles" chart, peaking at No. 3, and was No. 1 for 6 weeks in Great Britain), Freda Payne has always been a jazz singer dating back to her performance at age 14 with The Jimmy Wilkins Big Band. With her Artistry Music debut, Come Back to Me Love -- on which every instrumental solo sounds like it was played by someone who had a crush on her at one time or another - Ms. Freda Charcelia Payne won't just be swinging on a star...she'll be clutching that golden Victrola for this, her return to jazz and Detroit.