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Emerald City

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Editors’ Notes

Over the course of her first six albums, Teena Marie did as much to expand R&B's sonic palette and vocal character as anyone in the genre, yet she still had to fight the strictures of categorization. A defiantly multifaceted artist, she used 1986’s Emerald City to dismantle any notions of classifying her as black or white, feminine or masculine, or soul, jazz, or rock. She was a little bit of everything at once and used Emerald City to prove it. The concise eight-song program is based on the idea of an “Emerald City,” a luminescent place in which racial categories don't exist. To reinforce that theme, Teena Marie constructed her most hybridized album to date, weaving strands of hard funk, club music, jazz, and even metal into single songs. Unlike many of the era's top solo female stars, she took an active interest in her musicians. Emerald City features a cast that draws from every genre: traditional jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, fusion bassist Stanley Clarke, and even Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Customer Reviews

RIP Lady T

She will be missed! heaven just got a new lead in the choir!

So Classic, Yet So Fresh!

Ms. T certainly worked her stuff on this HIGHLY UNAPPRECIATED album. The fine mix of rock, funk, R&B, and Latin rhythms by this album had just been Tee's signature. It's a shame this album isn't as well known as it should be. Long live--and sing--Lady Ivory.

Emerald City

This album was the bomb in 86', so any of you FUNK fans that don't have it you need to add it to you collection!!!!! This aint for the E40 people!!!!!


Born: March 5, 1956 in Santa Monica, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

No white artist sang R&B more convincingly than Teena Marie, whose big, robust vocals were so black-sounding that when she was starting out, some listeners wondered if she was a light-skinned African-American. Marie grew up in west Los Angeles in a neighborhood that was nicknamed "Venice Harlem" because of its heavy black population. The singer/songwriter/producer was in her early twenties when, around 1977, she landed a job at Motown Records. It was at Motown that she met her mentor and paramour-to-be,...
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