Muriel Winston – A Fresh Viewpoint


Artist: Muriel Winston
Album: A Fresh Viewpoint
Genre: Soul Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
Label: Strata-East
Recording: 1974

One of the most unusual albums on the legendary Strata East label – an unusual mix of jazz and soul vocal material, put together by singer Muriel Winston with arrangements from the great Bill Lee! There’s a relaxed, easygoing feel to the record – one that’s upfront and personal on the tunes that feature Muriel in the lead on ballads, but gets a bit more righteous on some of the spoken passages, then feels really collaborative on some of the numbers that feature a chorus of younger singers (including Spike Lee’s sister, Joy). The material is an unusual mix of styles – some straighter jazz vocals, some more spiritual – and the album’s divided into two sides “The Universal Side” and “The Personal Side” – the latter of which features a number of lesser-known Tadd Dameron compositions. Lee handles the music direction and arrangements, and plays bass in a small combo that also features Clifford Jordan on flute, Stanley Cowell on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums. Winston’s a vocalist with a slightly spiritual kind of sound, and some of the tracks on the record are nice light little ditties with piano by Stanley Cowell, drums by Billy Higgins, flute by Clifford Jordan, and bass by Lee.

Muriel Winston – vocals, piano
Stanley Cowell – piano
Bill Lee – bass
Billy Higgins – drums, percussion
Clifford Jordan – flute
Children’s Chorus: Becky Childs, Shirley Childs, LaVerne Gilliam, Joy Lee, Natalie Roche, Theresa Roche

01. Children’s Trilogy: Play School (Lee)/Draw a Bucket of Water (Trad.)/Take Me Back (Hopkins) – 4:50
02. We’ll Remember Those Years (Moorehead) – 3:41
03. A Song for My Daddy (Winston-Lee) – 2:44
04. Sing Chillun Sing (Lee) – 1:57
05. The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow (Dorsey) – 5:41
06. A Song to Everyone in the World (Winston) – 2:15
07. Never Been in Love (Dameron) – 3:43
08. Weekend (Dameron) – 2:57
09. Soul Trane (Dameron) – 3:58
10. I’m Never Happy Anymore (Dameron) – 3:10
11. Love Took the 7:10 Tonight (Dameron) – 3:09
12. The Happy Heart (Dameron) – 4:21
Recorded at Minot Studios, White Plains/New York, October 21 and 31, 1974

A Fresh Viewpoint