Ann Odell – A Little Taste (1973)

 

Here’s an album I’ve been curious about for some time. Ann Odell was a pianist in Blue Mink and a very talented musician, with credits including string arrangements for Brian Ferry and INXS. Only a matter of weeks ago, in a conversation I had with singer/songwriter Rupert Holmes, the subject of artists who do their own arrangements arose. Many singer/songwriters and pop acts have sometimes bagged an ‘arranger’ credit by doing little more than saying, ‘strings in this bit, please’, while a genuine professional does the actual work, possibly without credit. In the exclusive club of singer/songwriters who genuinely arrange, filling rows and rows of blank staves with ink, would be Rupert, Janis Ian, Randy Edelman, Carole King, Randy Newman and…Ann Odell. Ann’s sole album, A Little Taste, came out in 1973 on DJM/Pye and to my knowledge has had just one CD reissue, on the Korean Beatball label (like Big Pink, Beatball is a Korean label that really digs deep and finds fascinating niche albums to reissue), around 2005. I’ve finally got my hands on a copy. And it’s good. More than good – excellent.

Ann’s singing voice reminds me of Meg Christian and her songs have a pop/soul/rock sound that’s typical of the era. Singing with Ann on the album are legends Madeline Bell, Doris Troy and Liza Strike. This is a keeper – catchy and thoroughly charming. If I were to weigh it up against the British singer/songwriter albums coming out around the same time frame, I’d say it’s more eccentric and grownup than Lynsey de Paul, perhaps to be filed alongside Lesley Duncan and Catherine Howe.

Inner panel from Korean reissue of A Little Taste

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