ABC/Ida Mae AstuteWith her latest musical offering, R&B powerhouse Ledisi is going back to her roots and paying homage to some of the greatest artists who influenced her in the genre.
On Wednesday, the acclaimed singer-songwriter released a trio of songs online – via SoundCloud – as a tribute to legendary genre-defying music veterans she greatly admires: rock & soul pioneer Ronald Isley, multi-instrumentalist/singer Patrice Rushen, and the late, great Natalie Cole.
Calling it The Nostalgia Movement: Volume 1, the three songs include Cole’s 1978 ballad “I’ve Got Love On My Mind,” Isley’s “I Once Had Your Lovin’ Baby (And I Can’t Let Go)” and Rushen’s “Settle For My Love.”
“Before my beautiful friend Natalie Cole passed away, I had started the process of tributing some of my favorite legends,” Ledisi said on her website. “The idea came about because I always see people covering the same songs over and over. I thought to myself why not tribute the R&B Music I love, give a little bit of a new flair to the arrangements, and educate the listener all at the same time. My prayer is that my version of these songs will make the listener want to go back and hear the original. That is my way of paying homage to those who came before me.”
Though quite accomplished through her own songs such as “In The Morning,” “Pieces of Me,” and “I Blame You,” the New Orleans native has gained a cult following with her spellbinding renditions of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Devotion,” Luther Vandross’ “My Sensitivity” and Ella Fitzgerald’s “Blues In The Night.” She even recorded notable covers of songs originally performed by Smokey Robinson, Oran Juice Jones, Buddy Miles and Bill Withers.
Ledisi added: “My goal has always been to honor the original recording but find ways to be true to who I am. I have done it most of my professional career, and it never gets old neither does it ever get easy. I will always love the original version of any song I remake because attached to those songs are memories, a place and a time.”
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