SoulTracks Lost Gem: Chaka left “Echoes” with all-time jazz greats

Share this article

    Back in 1982, during her Imperial Period as one of the most popular R&B vocalists around, Chaka Khan took a lovely career twist to join with a cast of all time jazz greats – Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke – to record a wonderful album of jazz standards.

    Produced by Lenny White (who also played drums), Echoes of An Era was a loving tribute to the Great American Songbook of the 30s and 40s, with Chaka stretching her ample vocals on songs written by such immortals as Monk, Gershwin, Strayhorn and Hawkins.

    The album didn’t make a huge splash (just missing the top 10 on the jazz album charts, and not showing up at all on the R&B charts), but it was an adventure worth taking. The album showed Chaka to be a vocalist whose talent was broader than her chart hits, and also provided this all-star crew the chance to have some fun playing together.

    Back in 1982, during her Imperial Period as one of the most popular R&B vocalists around, Chaka Khan took a lovely career twist to join with a cast of all time jazz greats – Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke – to record a wonderful album of jazz standards.

    Produced by Lenny White (who also played drums), Echoes of An Era was a loving tribute to the Great American Songbook of the 30s and 40s, with Chaka stretching her ample vocals on songs written by such immortals as Monk, Gershwin, Strayhorn and Hawkins.

    The album didn’t make a huge splash (just missing the top 10 on the jazz album charts, and not showing up at all on the R&B charts), but it was an adventure worth taking. The album showed Chaka to be a vocalist whose talent was broader than her chart hits, and also provided this all-star crew the chance to have some fun playing together.

    Check out Echoes of An Era below, an album worth discovering or re-discovering four decades after its release.

    By Chris Rizik

     
    Choice Cut - Brother Reggie - "Love Song"
    Choice Cut - KEA - "Turn It Around"
    Choice Cut - Sargent Tucker - "Don't Blame Love"
    Song of the Month - Acantha Lang - "It's Gonna Be Alright"