Dee Dee Bridgewater

One of the best jazz singers of her generation, Dee Dee Bridgewater (who was married to trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater in the early '70s) had to move to France to find recognition. She performed in Michigan during the 1960s and toured the Soviet Union in 1969 with the University of Illinois Big Band. She sang with the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis orchestra (1972-1974) and appeared in the Broadway musical The Wiz (1974-1976).

Largely overlooked in the jazz world by the time she moved to France in the 1980s, she appeared in the show Lady Day and at European jazz festivals, and eventually formed her own backup group. By the late '80s, Bridgewater's Verve recordings were starting to alert American listeners as to her singing talents. Her 1995 Horace Silver tribute disc (Love and Peace) is a gem and resulted in the singer extensively touring the U.S, reintroducing her to American audiences. She would find even more success with her tribute album, Dear Ella, which won a Grammy in 1997.

Signed to Elektra Musicians in 1979 for two albums, her predilection for funky grooves at the time, forged an awesome synergy of R&B, funk and jazz on this gem, displaying the extensive range and emotional expression that made her famous.