Esther Phillips with Joe Beck – What A Diff’rence A Day Makes (1975/2016) [e-Onkyo FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Esther Phillips with Joe Beck – What A Diff’rence A Day Makes (1975/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 35:55 minutes | 1,3 GB | Genre: R&B, Blues, Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: e-Onkyo | Front Cover | © CTI Records
Recorded: April 1975 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Reading the credits of What a Diff’rence a Day Makes, one could easily assume that it is a jazz album. This 1975 LP was produced by Creed Taylor and arranged by guitarist Joe Beck; the other participants range from Michael Brecker on tenor sax, David Sanborn on alto sax, and Randy Brecker on trumpet to Steve Khan on guitar and Don Grolnick on keyboards. With that lineup, Esther Phillips could have easily delivered a first-class jazz album. But What a Diff’rence a Day Makes doesn’t contain any jazz — not even jazz-funk or soul-jazz. It is, however, an excellent soul/disco outing. This LP is best known for its hit title song, an inspired disco version of a standard that has usually been heard in jazz and pre-rock pop settings. But the song works surprisingly well as disco, and the other tracks are equally impressive. Phillips is as soulful and convincing on the bluesy “I Can Stand a Little Rain” as she is on Gamble & Huff’s “One Night Affair” (a Philadelphia soul classic that was recorded by Jerry Butler in 1972 and the O’Jays in 1969) and Ralph MacDonald’s “Mister Magic.”The latter is the gem that Grover Washington, Jr. is best remembered for; while his famous version was instrumental jazz-funk, Phillips’ is vocal-oriented soul. It should be noted that most of the jazz musicians who back Phillips on What a Diff’rence a Day Makes are not jazz snobs. The Brecker Brothers and Sanborn, for example, have done their share of R&B sessions, and they would probably be the first to tell you that this LP needs to be judged by R&B standards instead of jazz standards. And when R&B standards are applied, it is easy to conclude that What a Diff’rence a Day Makes is among Phillips’ finest releases.

1 One Night Affair 5:50
2 What A Diff’rence A Day Makes 4:30
3 Mister Magic 4:23
4 You’re Coming Home 3:22
5 I Can Stand A Little Rain 3:21
6 Hurtin’ House 5:02
7 Oh Papa 4:19
8 Turn Around, Look At Me 3:59

Esther Phillips – Vocals
Joe Beck – Lead Guitar
Michael Brecker – Tenor Sax
Alan Rubin, John Gatchell, Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker – Trumpet
Brooks Tillotson, Jimmy Buffington – French Horn
Don Grolnick – Keyboards, Piano
Steve Khan – Rhythm Guitar
Will Lee – Bass
Ralph MacDonald – Percussion
Chris Parker – Drums
Barry Rogers, Tony Studd – Trombone
David Sanborn – Alto Sax
Eric Weissberg – Guitar, Steel Guitar
Al Brown, Manny Vardi – Viola
Emanuel Green, Gene Orloff, Harold Kohon, Harry Lookofsky, Kathryn Kienke, Leo Kahn, Matthew Raimondi, Max Pollikoff – Violin