Q (4/02, p.134) - 3 out of 5 stars - "...Philips's voice is a thing of wonder...while the backing is disco at its most soulful and silkily sophisticated..."
Personnel includes: Esther Phillips (vocals); Joe Beck (arranger, guitar); Steve Khan (guitar); Eric Weisberg (steel guitar); Emanuel Green, Leo Khan, Kathryn Kienke, Harold Kohon, Gene Orloff (violin); Al Brown, Manny Vardi (viola); Charles McCracken, George Ricci (cello); David Sanborn (alto saxophone); Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone); Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, John Gatchell, Alan Rubin (trumpet); Jimmy Buffington, Brooks Tillotson (French horn); Barry Rogers, Tony Studd (trombone); Don Grolnick (keyboards); Will Lee (bass); Chris Parker (drums).
Producer: Creed Taylor.
Reissue producer: Jerry Rapapport.
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey between
April 22 & May 28, 1975. Includes liner notes by Didier C. Deutsch.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Esther Phillips had already had a long rollercoaster ride of a career by the mid-1970s, but the disco-soul sound on 1975's WHAT A DIFF'RENCE A DAY MAKES is one of her most appealing stylistic stopovers. In fact, the album is one of the best in her discography. Phillips takes on the well-known title track, transforming it from its usual jazz context to a floor-thumping dance number. Also here are Gamble & Huff's "One Night Affair" and "Mister Magic," which was later a hit for Grover Washington Jr. Jazz session aces David Sanborn and the Brecker Brothers are on hand to lend support, but the overall feel of the album is straight R&B, and Phillips is in fine form throughout.