Completing a triumvirate of great Roberta Flack albums
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Quiet Fire", Roberta Flack's third solo album, has been unfairly overshadowed by the incandescent "First Take" and its masterful follow up, "Chapter Two". Unfairly because it is in every way an equal partner to its two luminous predecessors in constituting the third instalment of a triumvirate of great Roberta Flack albums. Significantly, even its immediate successor, the excellent "Killing Me Softly", doesn't quite measure up artistically with anything she did before that. Just as "Chapter Two" surprised with inspired covers of familiar standards, "Quiet Fire" serves up majestic versions of Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water", Goffin & King's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and the Gibb brothers' "To Love Somebody" which Nina Simone had a huge UK hit with in 1969. Unlike Aretha Franklin whose penchant for turning melodies inside out is legendary, Roberta's approach with a song is more conservative. She may slow it down a tad but always tries to preserve the melody and the cadence of the song. What she does is use her peerless phrasing and majestic performance to transform a song into something precious and personal. Listening to Roberta's voice build and rise above the piano is akin to a religious experience and it can't get more seriously churchy than "Go Up Moses", the opening track, which has Roberta feverishly incanting over a racuous rhythmn. Continuing in the same vein is "Sunday and Sister Jones", featuring the album's most powerful moments and a tour de force performance from Roberta that has to be heard to be believed. Winding up are sensitive treatments of "Let Them Talk" and the Dinah Washington standard "Sweet Bitter Love" which are at least equal, in my opinion, to the best versions ever recorded, including Aretha's in the case of the latter song. "Quiet Fire" is indeed the middle name of Roberta Flack and the sound of velvet melting..."
As good a smusic gets
Stephen714 | Philadelphia, PA | 02/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Roberta Flack is as good as music gets and any chance to hear her sing is worthwhile. This album is more than worthwhile. Listen to "Will You Still Love Me Tommorow" and see if you can think of anything more haunting or beautiful. All the music here is supurb but that one song should be enough to satisfy anyone. This is an album you'll be sorry if you miss."
Quiet Fire - Roberta Flack
W. Naegle | 01/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This disc finds Roberta Flack at her peak -- flush with her initial success, and building on that with an album that combines soul and jazz feeling. It captures the times, employing themes of mass movement as well as individual passion. Highly recommended."