Betty Davis - This Is It (2005)
Betty Davis...the Queen of Funk Rock. Don't miss this post! Truly a rare female talent. The Janis Joplin of Soul. Great drop for those hot and nasty outdoor parties.
Born Betty Mabry, 1945, she is an American funk and soul singer. She was also Miles Davis's second wife. She worked as a model, appearing in photo spreads in Seventeen, Ebony and Glamour.  In her time in New York, Mabry met several musicians including Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone.
Mabry met Miles Davis in 1966 and married him in September 1968. In just one year of marriage she influenced him greatly. The Miles Davis album Filles de Kilimanjaro included a song named after her and her photo on the front cover. In his autobiography, Miles credits Mabry with helping to plant the seeds of his future musical explorations by introducing the trumpeter to psychedelic rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix and funk innovator Sly Stone. Hendrix's friendship with Miles helped open the trumpeter up to new ideas about the sound of jazz.
It is believed that Hendrix and Betty Davis had an affair that hastened the end of her marriage to Miles Davis, but Hendrix and Miles stayed close and even planned to record until Hendrix's death. Hendrix's influence on Miles Davis was obvious on the album Bitches Brew which ushered in the era of jazz fusion. The origin of the album's title is unknown, but some believe Miles was subtly paying tribute to the woman whose intersecting relationships helped spur the album's genesis.
After the breakup of her marriage with Davis, Betty moved to London to pursue her modeling career. She wrote music - a passion since childhood - while in the UK and returned to the US with the intention of recording songs with Santana. Instead, she organized a group of talented West Coast funk musicians to make her own recordings.
Her first record, Betty Davis, was released in 1973. It had impressive lyrics and funky grooves on songs such as "Anti Love Song," as well as an impressive list of musicians:
* Neal Schon (Journey) - guitar
* Gregg Errico (Sly & The Family Stone) - drums
* Larry Graham (Sly & The Family Stone and eponym of Graham Central Station) - bass
* Patryce Banks (Graham Central Station) - percussion
* Willie Sparks (Graham Central Station) - drums
* Hershall Kennedy (Graham Central Station) - horns
* Greg Adams (Tower of Power) - horns
* Mic Gillette (Tower of Power) - horns
* Merl Saunders - Electric Piano
* Pete Sears - Acoustic Piano
* Pointer Sisters
Davis released two more studio albums, They Say I'm Different (1974) and Nasty Gal (1975). None of the three albums were commercial successes. Davis remained a cult figure as a singer, due in part to her open sexual attitude, which was controversial for the time. Some of her shows were boycotted and her songs not played on the radio due to pressure by religious groups. With the passage of time her records have become highly regarded by collectors of soul and funk music. Davis eventually stopped making music and returned to Pennsylvania. Both "Betty Davis" and "They Say I'm Different" were being re-released by Seattle's Light in the Attic Records on May 1, 2007.
Material from a 1979 recording session was eventually used for two further albums, Hangin' Out In Hollywood (1995) and Crashin' From Passion (1996). A greatest hits album, Anti Love: The Best of Betty Davis, was released in 2000.
Posted by wino at Thursday, May 24, 2007