"Portrait of a Gemini" is a legendary bit of jazzy soul recorded by Penny Goodwin, an obscure female singer from Milwaukee. Penny has a warm style that is pretty darn nice on its own, but it's made even better by the great arranger Richard Evan, who helped out a lot on the session, along with Phil Upchurch, and Morris Jennings.
The feel is very much in the Chicago sophisti-soul mode and, at times, the record sounds a lot like Marlena Shaw's best work in the '70s, particularly her sides for Blue Note in the early part of the decade. Originally released on a Milwaukie Label, only 2000 copies were pressed.
Used vinyl copies of the original Portrait of a Gemini album were going for five hundred dollars in the collectors market at one point. It includes the great original 'Too Soon You're Old' - a jazz dance classic for many years - plus a stellar cover of Gil Scott Heron's 'Lady Day & John Coltrane', and the tracks 'He's Come Back', 'Amazing Grace', 'Slow Hot Wind', 'Today Is the First Day' and 'Rain Sometimes'.
It also features a has-to-be-heard-to-be-believed version of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Goin' On'.
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