With the arrival of Delta Lady: The Rita Coolidge Anthology, one can only remark: what took so long? No other singer – not Maria Muldaur, Bette Midler, Bonnie Bramlett, Carly Simon, or Linda Ronstadt – more perfectly embodied the wide range of changes that popular music underwent from the late '60s through the mid-'80s, and continues to seek new means of expression today. This two-disc anthology on Hip-O offers the first complete portrait of this complex and multivalent talent on CD (though a box set would have been nice). Rita Coolidge scored her first chart hit with friend Donna Weiss' "Turn Around and Love You" in 1969. That song earned her a studio spot where she fell in with Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, and a huge cast of musicians. Being a background vocalist on Delaney & Bonnie's classic Accept No Substitute earned her a place on Russell and Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen revue and the rest is history, including a handful of chart hits and guest appearances that stagger the mind.
Rita Marcotulli is a hidden gem of european piano playing. Here she explores the timbres of the piano [some thumping & various metal bits placed on the strings - often used as repeat patterns to play over] but mostly plays beautiful melodic pieces. The last track has a quirky bit of singing through a megaphone - gorgeous ! She keeps well within herself, choosing to explore sonorities and harmonies rather than speedy runs. Could be listened to at a dinner party without shocking a non-jazz audience.