Amy Jade Winehouse (1983-2011) was born in the Southgate of North London. Her father often sang her songs by Frank Sinatra to the point that teachers often felt it hard to keep Amy quiet in class. She went to music school for four years when she was nine years old. She would later be consumed with Sarah Vaughn & Dinah Washington and she loved the 1960’s girl groups like The Supremes & borrowed her Cleopatra makeup from The Ronettes.
Her 2003 debut album “Frank” fetured many songs influenced by jazz, and all but two covers were co-written by Amy. Sharon Jones longtime band the Dap-Kings would later back her up on her 2006 album “Back in Black”.
She would have her sad, untimely death July 23, 2011.
There are so many voices in this world and there are few that stick to the eardrums like Amy Winehouse. She had a unique vocal range all her own, like the voices from the 60’s and ultimately Tony Bennett would share a duet with her, “Body & Soul”, on this post-mortem album.
I watched the video for the song on YouTube and was blown away by how easy it all came to her and how at ease she was with a legend of Bennett’s stature. In the December 23/30 2011 issue of Entertainment Weekly Tony Bennett wrote her obituary and stated: “If there was one word I would use to describe the artistry of Amy Winehouse, it would be Honesty. She had that rare gift that is the sign of a true genius”. When we recorded “Body & Soul” she was constantly improvising through each take”.” She was an absolute original”
“Tears Dry”, “Between the Cheats” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” are some songs that just resonate with you and have a lasting impression. She had a great talent and so sad to know she will not be pleasing us with her vocal range, and versatility as a singer.
“Like Smoke” has a great shuffle then throws Naps for a rap in the mix of the song, which shows her diversity as a singer and presenter of songs. Add in a jazzy bluesy song like “Valerie” and it becomes clearly obvious what the music world lost when she passed.
“The Girl from Impanema” is one version of the song would never end up on an elevator and “Half Time” shows the jazziness of her vocals. She had such a way of setting a songs mood almost more than the music did – that’s the sign of a truly gifted singer. “Wake up Alone” ends off the album and has a quiet bluesy guitar in the background.
This album has gone to number one already and parts of the proceeds of this album will go to The Amy Winehouse Foundation. She was a beautiful young woman, and we have her music to remember her by.