Choice Cut: Freda Payne wants to "Be With You"

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    When Freda Payne scored in the 1970s with the internationally popular singles “Band of Gold” and “Bring the Boys Home,” she had already paid her dues as a nightclub performer and jazz vocalist with several acclaimed albums under her belt. Although her recording activity in recent decades has been somewhat sporadic, her recently published memoirs have sparked renewed interest in her distinctively jazzy and soulful style.

    When Freda Payne scored in the 1970s with the internationally popular singles “Band of Gold” and “Bring the Boys Home,” she had already paid her dues as a nightclub performer and jazz vocalist with several acclaimed albums under her belt. Although her recording activity in recent decades has been somewhat sporadic, her recently published memoirs have sparked renewed interest in her distinctively jazzy and soulful style.

    Payne’s latest single is “Just to Be with You,” co-written by revered producer Michael B. Sutton with wife and smooth jazz vocalist Aneessa—who first released the song in 2020. Her new spin on the romantic tune infuses its soft and breezy groove with an understated performance which she peppers with skillful scatting and mellow ad-libs. Its all-encompassing message of love is one for the ages: “Train, plane, or car, I’ll travel far just to be with you…People from different races live in far-off places/Sometimes they fall in love.” Subtly Latin-tinged guitar underpinnings, light piano fills, and a cool sax solo complement the sentiment sweetly.

    “Just to Be with You” is our SoulTracks Choice Cut for March. Check it out below, and welcome back Freda Payne!

    by Justin Kantor 

    Freda Payne - "Just to Be With You"
     
     
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