ROBERTA FLACK

Vocal Jazz / RnB / Pop/Art Song/Folk / Jazz Related Soundtracks • United States
Jazz music community with review and forums
ROBERTA FLACK picture
Classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated -- all of these terms have been used to describe the music of Roberta Flack, particularly her string of romantic, light jazz ballad hits in the 1970s, which continue to enjoy popularity on MOR-oriented adult contemporary stations. Flack was the daughter of a church organist and started playing piano early enough to get a music scholarship and eventually, a degree from Howard University. After a period of student teaching, Flack was discovered singing at a club by jazz musician Les McCann and signed to Atlantic.

Her first two albums -- 1969's First Take and 1970's Chapter Two -- were well received but produced no hit singles; however, that all changed when a version of Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," from her first LP, was included in the soundtrack of the 1971 film Play Misty for Me. The single zoomed to
read more...
Thanks to snobb, dreadpirateroberts for the updates

ROBERTA FLACK Online Videos

No ROBERTA FLACK online videos available. Search and add one now.

Buy ROBERTA FLACK music

Amazon (logo)
Softly With These Songs: The Best of Roberta FlackSoftly With These Songs: The Best of Roberta Flack
Atlantic 1993
$4.09
$1.41 (used)
The Best of Roberta FlackThe Best of Roberta Flack
Wea Int'L 1990
$5.25
$1.00 (used)
Original Album SeriesOriginal Album Series
Box set
Warner Bros Uk 2012
$12.35
$16.34 (used)
The Very Best of Roberta FlackThe Very Best of Roberta Flack
Rhino Records 2006
$10.16
$5.08 (used)
Love SongsLove Songs
Warner Bros Uk 2011
$6.35
$4.80 (used)
Killing Me SoftlyKilling Me Softly
Reissued · Remastered
Warner 2009
$3.99
$1.67 (used)
Roberta Flack & Donny HathawayRoberta Flack & Donny Hathaway
Atlantic
$7.99 (used)
Quiet FireQuiet Fire
Atlantic
$5.79 (used)
Showing 8 items | Cache expiring in 72h | Keyword-based search | Best seller rank | More results on Amazon.com

ROBERTA FLACK Discography

ROBERTA FLACK albums / top albums

ROBERTA FLACK First Take album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
First Take
Vocal Jazz 1969
ROBERTA FLACK Chapter Two album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chapter Two
RnB 1970
ROBERTA FLACK Quiet Fire album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Quiet Fire
Vocal Jazz 1971
ROBERTA FLACK Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway
RnB 1972
ROBERTA FLACK Killing Me Softly album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Killing Me Softly
RnB 1973
ROBERTA FLACK Feel Like Makin' Love album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Feel Like Makin' Love
Vocal Jazz 1975
ROBERTA FLACK Blue Lights in the Basement album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blue Lights in the Basement
Vocal Jazz 1977
ROBERTA FLACK Roberta Flack album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roberta Flack
Vocal Jazz 1978
ROBERTA FLACK Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway
Vocal Jazz 1979
ROBERTA FLACK Bustin' Loose album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bustin' Loose
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1981
ROBERTA FLACK I'm the One album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I'm the One
RnB 1982
ROBERTA FLACK Oasis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oasis
Vocal Jazz 1988
ROBERTA FLACK Set the Night to Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Set the Night to Music
Vocal Jazz 1991
ROBERTA FLACK Stop the World album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stop the World
Vocal Jazz 1992
ROBERTA FLACK Roberta album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roberta
Vocal Jazz 1994
ROBERTA FLACK The Christmas Album album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Christmas Album
Vocal Jazz 1997
ROBERTA FLACK Friends: Roberta Flack Sings Mariko Takahashi album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Friends: Roberta Flack Sings Mariko Takahashi
RnB 1999
ROBERTA FLACK Holiday album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Holiday
Vocal Jazz 2003
ROBERTA FLACK Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2012

ROBERTA FLACK EPs & splits

ROBERTA FLACK live albums

ROBERTA FLACK Live & More album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live & More
RnB 1980
ROBERTA FLACK At Her Best:Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At Her Best:Live
RnB 2008

ROBERTA FLACK demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ROBERTA FLACK re-issues & compilations

ROBERTA FLACK The Best of Roberta Flack album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Roberta Flack
RnB 1981
ROBERTA FLACK Greatest Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
RnB 1984
ROBERTA FLACK Softly With These Songs: The Best of Roberta Flack album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Softly With These Songs: The Best of Roberta Flack
Vocal Jazz 1993
ROBERTA FLACK The Very Best of Roberta Flack album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Very Best of Roberta Flack
Vocal Jazz 2006
ROBERTA FLACK Love Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Songs
RnB 2011
ROBERTA FLACK Christmas Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Christmas Songs
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2012

ROBERTA FLACK singles (0)

ROBERTA FLACK movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
At Her Best:Live
RnB 2008

ROBERTA FLACK Reviews

ROBERTA FLACK First Take

Album · 1969 · Vocal Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matt
This one comes with Les McCann's recommendation as Les championed Roberta at the begining of her career back in the late sixties. Les actually wrote the album notes and Les introduced Roberta Flack to Joel Dorn ( Producer) from Atlantic Records who with Les could see potential with a capital P as Roberta Flack has a distinct class that exudes with her vocal technique and style that only black American vocalists sing with Jazz, Gospel, R&B,Folk, Blues and Pop all being influences and repertoire. Roberta Flack recorded "First Take" being her debut back in 1969 with Jazz being the major component with a bit of Gospel and a touch of R&B included in the mix of songs chosen for the album but nobody bought it, that is until Clint Eastwood decided to include "The First Time Ever I saw You Face" in his current movie at the time in 1972 "Play Misty For Me" which made the album number 1 in 1972 with the single spending six weeks at number one and selling over a million copies gaining Gold Record status with the Grammy the following year in 1973. One thing that always impressed me with Roberta Flack is the clarity of her voice with usually every word of every lyric coming through as clear as a bell even when she goes high, low or when she is extending words used within her songs, one can always hear every nuance from every lyric clearly with her stunning interpretations contained within this album. Roberta has another ace up her sleeve as well because she can play quite a nice piano and she was sure lucky to have on her debut the great Ron Carter on bass who has done simply beautiful work within the album and given it one great solid backbone to stand on. Ron does not get to his Miles Davis speeds but that is where I find his playing so stunning as the timing is often quite slow and he really had to be on his toes for this but credit must as well go to the mixer as the bass is right up front but does not over power but just provides a beautiful texture to every tune used. John "Bucky" Pizzarelli is on guitar and boy what a history he has had, having played with Les Paul for one and he has left quite a dynasty after retirement with his two sons renowed musicians today. Ray Lucas is drumming another Jazz professional having played with the likes of King Curtis, George Benson, Jack McDuff to name a few with these three gentlemen including Roberta Flack making a quartet which is the basis of the sound used in the record. There are strings and horns added in various tracks with some well known players present but basically the albums foundation is the Quartet sound.

Eight superbly interrupted tracks but often when playing this record I start with the flip or side two and not because of the single although that is one added bonus but the album commences with one of my favourite songwriters, Leonard Cohen with a beautiful rendition from Roberta of "Hey,Thats No Way To Say Goodbye" with that stunning accapella intro with some great brush work from Ray Lucas on drums with just the right touch between the strings which are added to the number but it is the Quartet sound that is still prevalent throughout with Roberta Flack adding a nice little piano solo but that voice when she sings just sweeps all away with the enchantment. The second track on the album is the hit "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" written by Ewan MacColl and it is a folk song from the man who also penned "Dirty Old Town" and to think that he wrote this tune in one hurry and taught it to his wife Peggy Seeger over the phone. Roberta Flack has taken the song and made it hers bringing an etheral feel to the composition which today is up there in those top 100 songs polls now and again but listen to Ron Carter on bass with his slow throb that he keeps constant throughout with his immaculate timing. This album owes so much to his input and yes I am a fan but it is not often on an artists debut you get one of the best bass players on earth to assist. Righteousness comes to the fore here with "Tryin' Times" and this is just the Quartet with no strings giving the album a constant variety of songs and Roberta Flack plays a great solo on piano but her voice being so good just keeps detracting from this talent of hers as she hits those vocal heights superbly throughout the composition. The actual album closer is "Ballad of The Sad Young Men" which is a standard and taken to new heights with a very slow spaced approach and the strings are used here but as I mentioned above they are mixed so beautufully throughout the production by always keeping Roberta Flack's voice and the Quartet at the front and at times the strings are unnoticable and you really have to listen for them as they are just blended in superbly throughout.

Side one of the record starts with "Compared to What" which is one of the two tunes where we get horns added on the album with a bit more rightousness and a bit of a Blues feel but it is Jazz that is the end product with this combination of influence. "Angelito Negros" the tune made famous by Pedro Infante with the great Antonio Machin and Eartha Kitt also having versions but like that hit single from this album this is the one for me being simply stunning. "Our Ages of Our Hearts" which is the second Donny Hathaway song used on the album by Roberta brings only more quality listening for you to enjoy. The Gospel gets a go with "I Told Jesus" with Ron just putting those great bass strums over this slow etheral composition where like all the other songs on the album the intensity of Roberta Flack's vocals just slowly builds throughout.

What a debut and one that is Jazz in its purest and you may ask why I take this perspective but the fact is what happened here was we have what basically is a Jazz Vocal Quartet which has a slight from the time contempary influence added being R&B with Gospel and a pinch of Blues spice thrown in, getting away from the more standard Jazz vocal group sound. Original most definitely and one can see what Les McCann was excited about when he raced off to Atlantic to get Roberta Flack signed. One other note I should mention is, ten hours is all it took to get this beautifull record cut.

ROBERTA FLACK Movies Reviews

No ROBERTA FLACK movie reviews posted yet.

ROBERTA FLACK Shouts

Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

An Ayler Xmas Vol.3 Live In Krakow Avant-Garde Jazz
MARS WILLIAMS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Relight Avant-Garde Jazz
UWE OBERG
Buy this album from MMA partners
Djesse Vol. 2 Pop/Art Song/Folk
JACOB COLLIER
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Orchestre Lipua Lipua : Tika Kosaboter Motema
ORCHESTRE LIPUA LIPUA
js· 4 hours ago
Capricious Voyage to Serenity
BURTON GREENE
js· 15 hours ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us