I remember hearing Loving You on the radio while I was young. I would know the singer hitting the highest notes I had ever heard as Minnie Riperton and hold on to those nuggets of information from childhood. Aside from those details, I also knew she died young. It would be years before I broaden that scope of knowledge.
I have BBE’s Strange Games & Things compilation to thank for making me take more notice of Minnie Riperton. The CD introduced me to Riperton’s Reasons when the only ones that concerned me were those of Earth, Wind & Fire. The rock grooves backing Riperton intrigued me because it was a far cry from her legendary love ballad. Ironically both songs are on the same album, Perfect Angel, which I was happy to have copped from a CMJ trip in 2009.
I love mid/late 1960s to early 1970s music regardless of the genre but have had something of a hard time with her former group Rotary Connection. I don’t know how to place Rotary Connection. The difficulties I’ve had in finding a danceable groove from the group have not made me study their music any further nor have the desire to do so.
I Am The Black Gold of the Sun is the only stand-out song from the group’s discography because of big wig producers and compilers like Gilles Peterson reaching for it. I felt that her Come To My Garden would be a regurgitation of Rotary Connection records. Les Fleurs could easily have been a Rotary cut but because it is a solo song, I see it as where her style blooms. And as always when she hit those high notes take my breath away.
I had heard some of her later 1970s Minnie material but was not moved much. It is quite possible Angel & Adventures In Paradise are her best albums.
Perfect Angel is my favorite Riperton record for sentimental reasons. However, I anticipate owning and listening to Adventures in Paradise one day to see if it will sway my vote. Earlier in April, I was listening to the first side of my Perfect Angel vinyl and was surprised she hits the high notes on so many songs in succession.
Lastly, I came to the realization that I renamed my show The Suite Delight after Minnie Riperton’s Reasons made such an impact on me.
The Suite Delight new time slot is Tuesday morning 2-3am EST on www.ckut.ca & 90.3 FM.
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1. Robert Glasper Experiment - Perservere feat. Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco & Luke James
2. Outkast - Prototype
3. Shad - He Say She Say
4. A Tribe Called Quest - Bonita Applebaum
5. Keith Murray - Get Lifted (Erick Sermon Remix)
6. Theophilus London - Life of a Lover (Remix) feat. Blu & Jesse Boykins III
7. Edo G - Righteous Way
8. Donovan - Get Thy Bearings
9. Rare Earth - Born To Wander
10. Minnie Riperton - Reasons
11. Clarence Carter - Patches
12. Roy Ayers Ubiquity - The Memory
13. Easy Star All Stars - Time (Groove Corporation Remix)
14. Elaquent - The Official
15. J Dilla - Last Donut of the Night