Dakota Staton – 1972 – Madame Foo Foo
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Rougher and rawer than we’re used to hearing Dakota Staton – and a tasty little session done with Groove Holmes on organ! The tunes are mostly standards, taken at a slower bluesier pace than on some of Dakota’s earlier sides – and Groove gets in plenty of licks on Hammond, sneaking behind Dakota’s vocals, and working with a group that includes Bernard Purdie, Cornell Dupree, and Horace Ott.
After close to a decade in self-imposed exile playing hotels and cruise ships in Britain, Dakota Statonreturned to the U.S., signed to the Groove Merchant label, and cut her first new material in eight years. Recorded with soul-jazz icon Richard “Groove” Holmes on Hammond, Madame Foo Foo not only boasts a hip, contemporary sound unlike any of Staton’s previous efforts, but it’s an approach that fits the singer like a glove, accentuating the earthy, blues-inspired elements so vital to her craft. Additionally featuring the great Bernard Purdie on drums and Cornell Dupree on guitar, the session settles into a sinuous, late-night groove that complements the far-ranging material (everything from “Deep in a Dream” to “A House Is Not a Home“) in full. Silent for so long, Staton clearly savors every nuance and turn of phrase, delivering one of her finest and most impassioned performances.