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Annette Peacock: My Mama Never Taught Me How to Cook (Castle 956)


I (simply) can’t separate side two of the first album here - X-Dreams - from my first ever sexual experience and, so - you’ll just have to bear that in mind, as I attempt to persuade you of the true brilliance of this collection...and, of the lady who recorded it.

Annette is one of the genuine greats from the last few decades of American music...and, probably, the best living (still) awaiting proper recognition. The first to sing through a synthesiser and, a key songwriter for (much) better-known jazz artists, she’s - always - gracefully attacked any boundary in her way - and has, therefore...fallen between stools so often, that her arse must be black & blue by now...

And - just where are the recordings w/Ayler from the early 60s European stint, eh? Surely some such must exist?

But...all this is by the way, at least here & now... What no-one has - yet - seen fit to (properly) acknowledge, is that she has one of the mere handful of voices which reside at the very pinnacle of the vocal arts...

Breathtakingly intimate, thrilling in its range (and yet, never exploited simply for display) her voice is simultaneously sensual, artistic, and intellectual - and all to a marvellously high degree. Not only that, it is beautifully fluid in its expression of same - and totally devoted to the lyrical means at hand. And...of all of hers I’ve heard - sadly, not all - X-Dreams is not only the best, it is also (currently) fully available on cd, as part of this collection...and - you! - should really hear it for yourself.

Recorded in the mid-70s...and then, shelved for several years - as record company people so often have shit for brains - it was (finally) made available in 1978...enjoyed a modest success on a small label, and was cut out - whence I “discovered” it in 1980.

The band - featuring many better-known figures than Peacock - is both accessible and willing to take chances. More importantly, however, they are united in their support to the lady...and never get in her way. In consequence, the album - particularly on the slower tracks - is marvelously “accessible”...w/out ever being “safe”. Hell, you could play it for anyone and, although it may well raise a blush...they’d simply have to admit that this was truly thrilling music. Why it wasn’t a hit is - simply - beyond me...

Of all the ladies I’ve fallen for - at a distance - Annette is the one I’d most love to meet. So, take this review w/a grain of salt...if you will. But, try this...nonetheless...as the feel within will doubtless capture you - as it did me - mere decades ago...




John Henry Calvinist