Thursday, November 5, 2009

Music Moment: Chaka Khan and "Ask Rufus"

I grew up listening to Chaka Khan because my adopted mother played her music all around the house.
Chaka's music was also on our radios and TV sets.
I liked what I heard. And at a very young age, I knew she was a force.
I really started to appreciate her when I got older delved into her discography.
One of my fave records featuring her is "Ask Rufus."
I bought this record for under $5 at a flea market in Norfolk, Va. last year.
The album was released in 1977 to lots of fanfare. It sold over a million copies and spawned several hits.
Chaka and Rufus had a magical music connection.
Rufus' trailblazing musicianship complimented Chaka's soaring vocals, and it's evident on "Ask Rufus."
Side one flows from the bouncy "At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up) to a funky and sweet "Medley:..."
It ends with my fave track on the record, "Everlasting Love."
I first heard this song a few years ago while talking to one of my former journalism professors.
He was trying to hip me to the loveliness of this song but I just didn't get it then.
Now, I do. (And you better believe it will be on my wedding play list.)
Side two of the record starts with the gorgeous "Hollywood."
Soul singer Erykah Badu covered this "song" for the "Bamboozled" soundtrack in 2000.
My second fave song on "Ask Rufus" is the majestic and light "Magic in Your Eyes." Chaka's voice is so pure on this that it gives me goosebumps.
She closes the record with the vocally aggressive and impressive "Egyptian Song."
It's no wonder that R&B singer Prince has called Chaka "the mother of all voices."
She proves it on "Ask Rufus" and more.

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