Jason King

"So Amazing: Why Luther Vandross's Legacy Matters"

Village Voice | June 28th, 2005 | Village Voice link: Click to read.

So Amazing Why Luther Vandross's Legacy Matters

You'll need to turn the volume up on your CD player to hear my favorite Luther moment. At 1:13 into his 1994 interpretation of Mitch Leigh's "The Impossible Dream," Vandross reflexively exhorts a "hmmph" on the heels of the phrase "to bear with unbearable sorrow," the same way gospel preachers utter "well" or "amen" after expressing some deep truth. It's a wordless confession of the blues with which he lived and a defiant assertion that the blues ain't never been nothin' too deep to handle. Vandross, who left us age at 54 two years after suffering a diabetes-related stroke, made music that was equal parts abject melancholy and joyful faith--faith in the power of love to redeem all.

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