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Obituary: Phyllis Hyman

Given the right breaks, Phyllis Hyman's soulful voice might have reached as many millions as Whitney Houston's, Patti Labelle's or Gladys Knight's have. Instead, Hyman had to settle for a cult following on the R&B and jazz scenes, though she did shine on Broadway in the early Eighties.

Music: Getting the bit between his teeth

LPO / Welser-Mst RFH, London

MUSIC: Picking lotus and talking Rott

The American baritone Thomas Hampson offered an imaginative programme of Grieg, Butterworth and Mahler at his Wigmore recital on Friday. His American accent suits Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad, may even be closer to 19th-century Salopian than the tight-vowelled delivery of most British singers. Songs that can seem small here became unbearably poignant, as when Housman's line "lads that will die in their glory and never be old" foreshadowed Butterworth's own death in 1916.

Korean sing song

South Korean President Kim Young-sam's has lifted bans on 800 'subversive' songs including Roberta Flack's 'The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face', Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind' and Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

Still a little crazy after all these years: It's like he's never been away: first there was Seal with Seal, now there is Seal with Seal. And the new album, like the old, is produced by Trevor Horn. But look: no hair] By Giles Smith

You'll remember Seal from the 1991 single 'Crazy' and the impressive debut album, Seal, which probably could have fought its way into the public consciousness, even without the mighty billboard poster campaign which thumped home his image - giant black letters on a white background reading SEAL, with the man himself in a long leather coat, feet apart, arms crossed, formidably forming the 'A' in his own name. With a smooth, clear voice somewhere between soul and rock, and with looks and charisma to spare, he was hailed, instantly and loudly, as a new British pop sensation.

ARTS / The first cut is still the deepest: Lives of the great songs: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Its author was a communist folk singer who wrote it for his future wife. When it became a hit 15 years later, he was not entirely pleased. Justine Picardie continues our series

A critical Guide: Jazz

Marlena Shaw (Jazz Cafe, NW1, 071-916 6000, tonight). Smooth US singer, with a big audience among upmarket jazz-funkateers.

RECORDS / New Releases: Schumann: Dichterliebe, Liederkreis, Op 39. Thomas Quasthoff/Roberto Szidon (RCA Red Seal, CD)

There are times when you wish these songs were anchored in something weightier than Quasthoff's light lyric baritone. But the compensation is finely shaded, clean and focused singing of serious quality, and a voice that doesn't exactly smile - you don't smile often in this repertory except through tears - but shines with the cultivated intelligence of a true lieder specialist. His pianist is careful but supportive. And the standard coupling is given a distinctive edge by the inclusion of Schumann's Romances & Ballads III, Op 54, and the epic narrative Belsatzar. All uncommonly worthwhile.

RIFFS / Shakespeare's in the house: Chris Rea jumps to Womack & Womack's 'Teardrops'

ALL MY favourite records seem to be on C90 tapes with no titles on them. This is one I do remember though, from a couple of years back. It's a dance track whose big attraction is that it has everything. There's an argument that you lose the soul when you use modern recording techniques, but this is modern and still has all the flavour of the Sixties, when I was there in my mohair suit. You can happily play it back to back with a Marvelettes or an Elgins single.

RIFFS / The soul singer Ephraim Lewis celebrates the vocal duet at the heart of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On'

WHEN Marvin Gaye made the album What's Going On, Motown was still a bit of a hit factory, producing poppy love songs and mundane lyrics. The title track, though, was a lament about ghetto life, and opened the way for people to get more serious. The most startling thing about 'What's Going On' is Gaye's voice: it's as though he's singing a duet with himself. He sings a mid-range lead line, then there's a falsetto track over the top, which is like another lead in itself. Marvin saw himself as a composer - he did things that aren't regular soul or gospel things. The tone of his mid-range is sandpapery and cool, in the frequency of a tenor sax, while the falsetto is smooth and silky like a woodwind. One moment he has perfect control, then when he goes into the reprise after the second chorus, his voice almost breaks with passion. The songs starts with the toms playing the main riff, and it doesn't really end; the rhythm track just bleeds into the next track, 'What's Happening Brother?'. To me, it's inseparable from the whole album.

Michael and Janet Jackson

The singer Michael Jackson kisses his sister Janet after receiving the Grammy Living Legend Award at the 35th award ceremony in Los Angeles. Eric Clapton, the British rock star, won six Grammys, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.

RIFFS / Heart-drenching stuff: Soul singer Dina Carroll on 'Wish It Would Rain' by the Temptations

'Wish It Would Rain' is a really sad ballad about a man who is torn apart. His woman has run off with someone else and he's really feeling terrible, he wants to cry so much but he feels that a man isn't supposed to cry. So he's praying - or rather singing - for it to rain, so he can go outside and cry and nobody will notice. He sings 'Sunshine, blue skies, please go away / My girl has found another and gone away / I know to you it might sound strange / But I wish it would rain / Because raindrops will hide my teardrops / And no one will ever know that I'm crying when I go outside'.

Obituary: Eddie Kendricks

Eddie Kendricks, singer, born Birmingham Alabama 1940, died Birmingham Alabama 5 October 1992.

OPERA / True colours: Edward Seckerson on Janacek's Katya Kabanova

Glyndebourne Touring Opera's first visit to the capital will leave us with at least one lasting impression: the indelible colours of Nikolaus Lehnhoff's production of Janacek's Katya Kabanova. When it was new (1988) the colours were much discussed. Lehnhoff and his designer Tobias Hoheisel had boldly striven for a two-dimensional look to their show - primary and secondary colours only. The surface was pure child-like fancy, pop-up picture-book naivety with corn-yellow hillocks meeting the bluest of skies, turning red through pink at night as passions rose, sulphurous or black when seen against the purplish swirl of the river - Katya's private world, the stuff of folk-tales and impossible dreams. Janacek's music tells a similar story: his colours are primary too.
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