Love, glitter and disco: in Montreux, Diana Ross says goodbye to Europe

It takes a pipe to open the festival, and it’s inevitable I’m going outfrom the album Diana, released in 1980 and remains the biggest success of his career. Written and produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, alias Chic, this disc made Diana Ross, pop-soul icon of the Motown label in the 1960s, a disco queen. After a martial and solemn introduction led by his fourteen musicians and singers, he is here on stage, sketching some dance steps and rocking his hit. On the two giant screens that frame the stage, the covers of the 44 albums he has released since Meet the Supremes in 1962 had just parked. The Auditorium Stravinski is so hot, between the excitement of hearing a famous hymn and the emotion of seeing a singer remain one of America’s last famous black music legends.

Saturday night at Montreux jazz: Diana Ross, “the boss” forever

On July 3, 1976, Nina Simone gave a concert at the Casino that entered the mythology of the Jazz Festival. The translator of My Baby Just Takes Care Of Me five times in Montreux, as did Ella Fitzgerald. And while we no longer count Chaka Khan’s performances, Aretha Franklin was only once sung in the land of Vaudois. The list of African-American singers invited to the Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF) is long: we will also find the names of Etta James, Roberta Flack, Gladys Nite, Mary J. Blidge, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu , Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle or Natalie Cole. Finally, Diana Ross’s is part of MJF’s “wall of fame”. Her concert is expected, as was Stevie Wonder in 2014.

“I Love You All”

On July 9, 2022, the Detroit native began walking the floor with joy I’m going outbefore proceeding to More Today Than Yesterday, a piece recorded by Californian pop group Spiral Starecase in 1969, and he covered because it completely contained the one and only message he sought to convey, he always avoided political debates: peace, love and peace -our brother. “I love you all”, he launched as a first exchange with Strav ’4000 viewers.

Following an impressive series of titles recorded between 1964 and 1968 in The Supremes, the female trio where she started and who has been Diana Ross & the Supremes since she shone there more than Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard: My World Has Nothing To Lose Without You, child-love, Stop! In the Name of Love, Don’t Hurry Love and Love Child. Five-fold proof of the wisdom of Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, who, thanks to the contribution of composers and producers as much of their talent (the Holland-Dozier-Holland trio, the Nickolas Ashford-Valerie Simpson duo ), made his label a good tube machine.

Also read: Diana Ross on five albums

On the screens, twinkling hearts and the word “love”. On stage, Diana Ross invited three little girls, before going backstage to change her black dress with colorful patterns for another more swollen and fluorescent yellow with its effect – mag replace him at the end of the concert for the second time. Here is the chain reaction, which was offered to him by the Bee Gees in 1985, before a tribute to the blue notes “because we’re at a jazz festival”. It will happen don’t explaina track by Billie Holiday, previously recorded for the film’s soundtrack Lady Sings the Blues, directed in 1972 by Sidney J. Furie and in which he played… Billie Holiday. This restored biopic last year earned her a Golden Globes for revelation and an Oscar nomination for best actress.

trembling voice

Later we are entitled to a medley of an extract from Convenience Down the Roadwhich he sang with his friend Michael Jackson on The Wiz (Sidney Lumet, 1978, kitsch musical adaptation of Wizard of Oz), then to You Know Where You Are Goingride popular with Mahogany (1975), the only film directed by Berry Gordy. Along with these three feature films, Diana Ross has shot two TV movies. With The Supremeshe appeared in 1968 in an episode of the series Tarzan. After her promised debut as Billie Holiday, her hesitant performances in The Wiz and Mahogany sounded death knell for a potential film career.

The end of the concert was approaching, and when his earphones played a dirty trick on him. At the very beginning of the concert, we saw Diana Ross showing her technicians that the comeback wasn’t strong enough. Suddenly, right at the start of You Know Where You Are Going, now he can no longer hear himself. His voice was trembling, no longer very fair. We remember that unlike great divas who relied solely on their wit and vocal power, the American has never been a great singer. His greatest talent, beyond his natural charisma, has always been to be like an instrument among others, to be one in music without trying to dominate it. His mucisiens and choristers, very well, were there to keep the house. Not Enough Mountain Height, this Motown classic he recorded in 1970, three years after Marvin Gaye, is sadly a bit dull and hesitant as well. But on the contrary, from this revealed weakness, Diana Ross is able to create strength, bringing the concert to an unexpected end.

All his family on stage

In singing I will be saved, stolen from Gloria Gaynor, she brought all her children and grandchildren to the stage. His European tour with his family is over, and he wants to say that he loves his tribe and will share this opportunity with them. Ambot what we attended, a bit crazy, seemed like a private meeting more than a concert. Here he explains that this will be his last show before he returns to the United States (and therefore the last European show of his career since he announced he will leave the stage), that after aeronautical problems, some suitcases were mistaken (“I don’t have any more clothes to wear”) and some musicians arrived before the concert, preventing the traditional soundcheck from being performed. He apologized and hoped the audience enjoyed the night though…

With that he sat down, remembered that he was 78 years old, and sent playback of a track from his latest album, Time-to-Call, because he wants us to listen to him. He then ends the title song on this disc made during incarceration, the appropriate name thanks. He thanked his family and those around him, applauded those who accompanied him on stage and behind the scenes, and stressed that without his fans, he would never have carried out such a long career. He was touched, so were we. While at first everything seemed to be on track, ultra-calibrated, American-style, this final hesitation gives a more humane touch to this concert that Montreux has been waiting for a long time.

Leave a Comment