Soul Fantasy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dianne Brooks - Go away 1981

Toronto R&B singer Dianne Brooks was very much in demand as a backup vocalist in Toronto recording scene through the 1970s. She working for everyone from Anne Murray to Funkadelic , on the brilliant America Eats Its Young, recorded when the group lived in Toronto in the early '70s. She lent her voice to "Try A Little Harder" / "The Land" (GRT 1233-06), the impressive debut single of the Doctor Music gospel-R&B (and later jazz) group assembled by Doug Riley. (The earliest incarnation was essentially a studio group including Doug Riley, Steve Kennedy and guitarist Terry Bush from the Silhouettes, Mouse Johnson from the Soul Searchers, and a veritable choir of Toronto's top singers.)
However busy Dianne was, the closest thing to a record release of her own during this period was a five-song set recorded in 1974 by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for airplay at its radio stations across the country (LM 404). Interestingly, the material recorded for this rather low-key project -- four originals from the pen of arranger John Capek, plus the Cahn-Van Heusen chestnut, "I'll Only Miss Him" -- is what Dianne looks back on with the most satisfaction. As she says on the album jacket, "The day that I can get myself into something and don't have to sing background vocals anymore, it'll be the greatest day of my life."
In 1976 Dianne put together a nightclub act, and also recorded a second album, Back Stairs of My Life (Reprise 2244) -- this time with producer Brian Ahern. Despite some outstanding performances -- and vocal and instrumental help from Bonnie Raitt, Anne Murray, Amos Garrett, Billy Payne of Little Feat, Smitty of Motherlode, Mouse of the Soul Searchers and many others -- the record was largely ignored. A subsequent change in management did little in the great scheme of things, but at least took Dianne to Australia for a string of engagements in 1979.
The 1980s carried Dianne first to Los Angeles, where she joined the group Kitchen (who'd just left Sergio Mendes), and then to New York where she recorded "Go Away" / "Drums", (Town House 1051), both co-written by her manager at the time, Nathan Kipner. "Go Away", in particular, is a strong song, exceptionally well performed in Dianne's distinctive soulful style.

Biography by Bill Munson

Note: The above posted single is not played in full

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone have a copy of the other songs I did with Dianne?