|Queen of Nice
royally delivers a sizzling summer release
Tracks reminiscent of late
gay composer Paul Jabara
made a mistake when reviewing this album. I (and I'm sure many of my colleagues)
may have compared Ms. Estefan's gloria!
with Donna Summer. I will be the first to admit that on many tracks her
performances are reminiscent of Donna, however Ms. Estefan is no imitation.
The similarities are because the writers and producers were mirroring the
styles of the late Paul Jabara.
article requires the Real Player. Press the button to get the FREE plug-in!
Jabara was a gay songwriter and producer that penned many dance classics
including, "The Main Event" for Barbara Streisand, "Take Me Home" for Cher,
and "It's Raining Men" for the Weather Girls which he co-wrote with David
Letterman bandleader, Paul Shaffer. He is most known for his work with
Donna Summer including: "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" (duet with Barbara
Streisand) and "Last Dance" from the movie, "Thank God It's Friday" which
earned him the 1978 Academy Award for Best Song.
was in the original Broadway cast of 'Hair', released recordings as a solo
act and scored a few films. Jabara's style was high energy and utilized
big orchestrations with lush string arrangements.
importantly, Paul Jabara is credited with conceiving and distributing the
first Red Ribbon. He died from complications
from AIDS. His death marked the end of an era, as producers utilized technological
advancements to produce a bigger sound.
may be the level of musicianship is outstanding. Gloria's status allows
her the freedom to utilize, as many musicians needed to paint a large canvas.
Her concerts are major productions and she's used to taking a big sound
with her wherever she goes. It's natural to assume she would want to have
the same fullness in the studio.
predict every club DJ will be playing more than one track from this collection.
Few releases have its high production qualities while keeping the focus
solely on the dance floor. This self titled album 'gloria!' does exactly
that effortlessly and Ms. Estefan rises to the challenge.
achieve the diva status, a vocalist must consistently prove in a variety
of settings her ability. One is not born a diva; it comes only with experience.
Vocalists are also judged on subtlety, nuance, as well as the appropriateness
of delivery for the track in question. Gloria Estefan has long ago achieved
this status, as evidenced by her association with Quincy Jones, (he is
the godfather of one of her children). On 'gloria!'
each of her performances excels on this assorted offering while further
documenting her status. She knows when to turn it up, and when to create
like a true diva, she is comfortable to let the other musicians around
her shine. In fact she has been referred to as the 'Queen of Nice'. The
horn section attacks furiously with their tongue attacks on 'oye'
[ stereo / mono
]. On 'heaven's
what i feel' [ stereo
] the strings are Jabara-esque in their lush intensity. She embraces her
Latin heritage with percussion on 'cuba
libre' [ stereo
]. In fact, it is her unique infusion of her multi-cultural background
that defines her style. If America could learn that only by accepting our
multi-cultural diversity, can we truly excel.
favorite track is 'don't release me'.
I just wish that the original mix was longer. It has a nice segue way into
'don't let this moment end'
which was the key that enabled me to make the Paul Jabara connection. The
build up was similar to the Weather Girl's "It's Raining Men" a track which
Ms. Summer had no known association. Listen
to 'don't release me/don't
let this moment end'. [ stereo
to my friend Craig (Gloria's sound man) I was invited to her last concert
in Philadelphia. Usually she hangs around backstage to greet the press
and special fans, but that night was special. She reserved the green room
for a delegation of nuns who taught her when she was younger. She even
introduced them during the show.
the diva made sure to take time out of her busy schedule to autograph a
photograph for the GALAEI
Project an AIDS service organization in Philadelphia. She sent word
that she was sorry we didn't have a chance to talk, however I was allowed
access to see where Craig worked. I was also given an opportunity to discuss
one of my favorite subjects, music technology with her keyboard manager
-- I had a blast!!! I told you she's the Queen of Nice.
thanks to John Shirley and Jonathan Vendrick for their contributions to