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Minnie Riperton: Her Chess Years

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iTunes Review

Her Chess Years boasts 16 incredible tunes from Minnie Riperton’s tenure on the legendary Chicago label, opening with the glorious “All of It” which she cut when singing lead for the mid-‘60s girl-group the Gems. The sweltering and steamy “Lonely Girl” was recorded by Riperton in 1966 under the pseudonym Andrea Davis and there are plenty of her trademark glass-shattering laser-falsetto high-notes soaring all over this tune. For anyone who has ever wanted to put soulful and psychedelic Christmas carols on a holiday mix, look no further than her stunning renditions of Morris Dollison’s “Christmas Love” and “Silent Night” recorded with Rotary Connection. Speaking of psychedelia, Rotary Connection’s take on Cream’s “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” is actually weirder and more beautiful than the original with its orchestral arrangements, jazzy guitar tones, flute solos and ethereal wind chimes underscoring Riperton’s rhythmic inflections. They also turn Jimi Hendrix’s “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” into a panoramic symphony, though it’s the uplifting and anthemic “Want You to Know” which may be the best tune here.

Customer Reviews

By all means check the ROTARY CONNECTION'S cd output...

Having been a fan of a somewhat obscure yet really enjoyable band from Chicago in the late 60's called Rotary Connection, I suggest that Minnie fans search for this group's 5 incredible cds. "ROTARY CONNECTION" "PEACE" "ALADDIN" "SONGS" and "DINNER MUSIC." Absolutely first rate stuff, with Minnie's voice used in extraordinary ways Another lead singer in the group was Sidney Barnes, and with the other members singing lead or harmonizing and playing some fine instruments, the whole shebang was quite an interesting affair. I'll even go so far as to claim that a song on the album "PEACE" has become my favorite holiday tune of all time. Since college days (circa 1968) I have tried to introduce this eclectic, fine band to folks I have met over the years. Now I can attempt to seduce itune folks into pursuing the Rotary Connection, with Minnie Riperton at her freshest!!! GOOD TIMES

"Come to My Garden" is superior to "Adventures"

Her solo debut, "Come to my Garden" is a great record with very Bacharach-like arrangements and the amazing "Les Fleur," which is one of my favorite songs right now. Not as psychedelic as the work with the Rotary Connection, which is not to be missed (as others here have pointed out), but still outstanding. A friend turned me onto the RC years ago. The CD's are tough to find. Although there is a good compilation out now, it's not even on iTunes. I know people who have the vinyl. I'm not sure why more of the Rotary Connection isn't on iTunes??!!

Thank you j-brd for the review, I so agree

Minnie and Rotary Connection are not easy to get, for me, because I am so new to this and the review bye J took me ten fold into a better understanding. I am cultish now. I loved Minnie way back in the 70's, wow, but now that I know there was this swinging history, I cannot get enough, the 70's dont compare. I am on a new journey and loving it. Minnie, we are here and for sometime to come!


Born: November 8, 1947 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The tragic death of 31-year-old Minnie Riperton in 1971 silenced one of soul music's most unique and unforgettable voices. Blessed with an angelic five-octave vocal range, she scored her greatest commercial success with the chart-topping pop ballad "Lovin' You." Riperton was born in Chicago on November 8, 1947; as a youth she studied music, drama, and dance at the city's Abraham Lincoln Center and later contemplated a career in opera. Her pop career began in 1961 when she joined a local girl group...
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