Marlena Shaw - Let's Wade In The Water
Please see my earlier post about the Cadet label for background about the great Chess subsidiary. As Cadet acts like Ramsey Lewis and others embraced soul jazz, the label made a practice of releasing the most R&B-flavored of such tracks on 45 with soul radio in mind. The Ramsey Lewis Trio paid the first dividends with this approach with their versions of "The In Crowd" and "Wade In The Water."
Today's selection also fit within the "Cadet-jazz-as-soul-single" approach. Marlena Shaw's tenure with Cadet in the '60s and early '70s was full of very attractive recordings, including her hit vocal version of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," today's selection, and the beat diggers' favorites "California Soul," "Liberation Conversation" and "Woman of the Ghetto." "Let's Wade In The Water" found Shaw adding vocals to the Ramsey Lewis hit, to good effect. The distinctive Cadet groove is in full force and Shaw's strong vocals push the song along.