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The Atlantic Years

Esther Phillips

04 September 2006
A remarkable vocalist who could holler gritty R&B lyrics, bring soul to torchy ballads, add charm and wit to the standards of the American Songbook, and make a Beatles song almost her own, Esther Phillips was formidably versatile, equally at ease with jazz, soul, country, pop and rhythm and blues. Famous for her bittersweet vocal sound and distinctive phrasing she was, in the words of Atlantic boss Ahmet Ertegun one of the best singers he had ever heard. Signed to Atlantic in 1964, she released a series of well-crafted albums, arranged by the likes of Ray Ellis and King Curtis. Here is some of the best of her output for the label.