Sunday, August 24, 2008


We all know that Patti Labelle is THE VOICE. That title has been bestowed upon Mariah, Whitney, among others. BUT, NO ONE can come for Miss Patti and her vocals. She was never the recipient of the wealth and the fame of some of her contemporaries, or most of those who came after her, but this is a woman who can take a song, make it her own, and then hold an indefinite lease on said song for decades.

OVER THE RAINBOW is a classic American song made famous by the iconic, legendary Judy Garland. This song is in many ways the embodiment of the American dream and Judy made that dream come to life with her sheer vocal perfection and infusion of controlled emotion. But then came Patti. What Patti added was blazing, raw, unbridled soul and passion. There is a part of each of us that wants to scream, wail, flap our arms and go flying across the stage, unleashing all the pain, hope, frustration and dreams that we keep bottled up all too often. When I see her perform this song, I truly get a glimpse of the rainbow.

This is sheer perfection - the wedged natural bob tucked back on one side, the red lacquer nails, high gloss maroon lips, the oil based 80's shiny makeup, the Bob Mackie/Tony Chase-esque dolman sleeved, dropped waist gown - and that performance. Patti takes you to Oz, Harlem, church, therapy and heaven, all in less than five minutes.

No comments: