Saturday, January 4, 2014

"In My Listening Booth" with the late Phyllis Hyman"

As we begin a new year, I thought I would start it with one of the best voices to ever grace this earth;  If you don't know who she is, give yourself the gift of songs in 2014 and listen to the music of the late,
Ms. Phyllis Hyman....

Not everyone who hears the name Phyllis Hyman will immediately think jazz, but in my opinion, in many ways, her voice was very much a combination of jazz and soul, although on some websites I googled, her music is labeled R&B/Soul others Jazz, but it was very much all of that and more. I love reminiscing about the old school music era and this is one artist of that Era who many, including myself will never forget.

Back in the late 80's, while visiting the Pediatrician with my son, I saw her coming out of the same building that I was about to enter.  There was a limousine waiting for her, and when she came down the stairs of the building, I looked up at her tall frame after realizing who she was, and I thought to myself, "Wow, look at how beautiful she is in person". She was as stunning to look at, as her songs were to hear.  She quickly glanced in my direction and just as I was about to say hello, people who recognized her were starting to gather, and it pretty much killed my moment of saying a personal hello to her, so I just stood and watched as she waved to the crowd.  To sum up what she was and always will be to the music world is to say in one word, Rare.  It is very much like when you are out shopping and stumble across a very unique find, whether it be a bottle of vintage wine, a book, a piece of art or a classic album,  that is what the late Phyllis Hyman was like to the world of music. A rare and unique find.  

Listen to any of her songs, and you will hear sadness, raw emotions, love, joy and poetry. 

There are very few artists today who can combine all of that in a song, and make you feel like it was for you; her voice and lyrics made you literally sit still and listen to the words, but more importantly, perhaps artists of her era often times, were singing about their own personal experiences.  Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Anita Baker, just to name a few.

One of her many songs she sang and one of my favorites, is so chilling while at the same time so emotional is "Living All Alone".   The beauty in that song is, how very true and real it is. That song captures the very essence of loving someone and being lonely.  Not everyone wants to be alone. As she so eloquently put it "Love, I used to know you well."  We all think we know love so well, until it knocks the wind out of us. Many times I believe artists are expressing their innermost feeling through their music, and I believe that with Phyllis Hyman and many others who are no longer with us.  I think it would be hard to put that much emotion in a song without truly feeling and understanding what you are singing,

Here's Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

What are some of your favorite songs from Phyllis Hyman?  Have you ever seen her perform live or met her in person?






4 comments:

  1. AS SOMEONE FORUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE KNOWN PHYLLIS, AND HAVING SPENT SOME QUALITY TIME WITH HER, I CAN ASSURE YOU YOUR INITIAL SENSE ABOUT HER WAS CORRECT.PHYLLIS CARRIED HERSELF WITH REGAL, SELF ASSURANCE. SHE COVERED UP HER OWN INSECURITIES, AND SELF DOUBT, WITH A POWERFUL SENSE OF CLASS AND DIGNITY.SHE HAD HER FAULTS, AS WE ALL DO, BUT IF YOU TRULY KNEW HER, THEN YOU QUICKLY FORGAVE HER SHORTCOMINGS.I REMEMBER PHYLLIS TELLING ME ONCE WHEN I WAS STRUGGLING WITH A BROKEN HEART, THAT WE CHOOSE THE ONE,S THAT WE LOVE AS WE ALSO MUST BE CHOSEN.I WAS SO HONORED TO HAVE SPENT TIME WITH HER, AND ALSO TO SAY I TRULY LOVE HER TILL THIS DAY. MAY SHE REST IN PEACE, AND KNOW THAT SHE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. KENNY LUN

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    1. Kenny, your comments are much appreciated.

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  2. I saw Phyllis perform in Norfolk, VA during the late '70s. She was awesome to see in concert. She had one of the greatest voices of all time. Her music continues to live on. I teach my children about all of the great singers of the '70s and '80s. That was a time when people knew what it was like to love and the heartache and pain that love brings. She had such emotion that you can't help but feel something when she sings. "Somewhere In My Lifetime" was my personal favorite. It always brings tears to my eyes. I will never forget her voice and the climaxes within her songs. I love you Phyllis...

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    1. Thank you Bishop Allen for your comment. Of all the songs by her, It is actually hard for me to listen to "Somewhere in my lifetime" without tearing up. When I hear it on the radio, I almost turn it off, because although it is a beautiful song, you can hear her pain and raw emotion. I am so thankful she was apart of my generation and she left such beautiful music,

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