February 2, 2009 – 4:18 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Tokyo 1985 [no label, 2CD]

Live at Yomiuri-Land, East Tokyo, Japan, July 28, 1985 at the Live Under The Sky festival. Very good soundboard.

Very few people think of Roberta Flack as a prodigy. At 13, she won second place honors with her performance of a Scarlatti sonata in a statewide contest for black students. Two years later, she enrolled at Howard University on a full music scholarship, making her one of the youngest students to ever enroll there. Within a year, she was conducting her sorority’s vocal quartet, accompanying pop, jazz, and opera singers, and changed her major from piano to voice as she was assisting the school’s choir conductor.

Very few people would think of Flack as an activist. She is an outspoken participant in the Artist Empowerment Coalition; an active member of the Real Artist Symposium (they own their own masters) and is involved in the Roberta Flack School of Music, a charity foundation.

For her 1973 hit, Killing Me Softly With His Song, Flack is reported to have spent three months in the studio with producer Joel Dorn perfecting the track. On stage, she delivers classy soul, what one critic calls “a graceful balance of pop, soul and nightclub-jazz.”

For this greatest hits package in Tokyo 1985, Flack was personable, and rather glad to perform with one of her collaborators, saxophonist Sadao Watanabe. While she gave an exquisite rendering of Suzanne, there were no real surprises though the band did get to stretch out on the jazzy numbers.

These tracks are no longer available for download.Disc 1
Keep Forgettin’ (5.2MB)
Love Was Never Meant for Me (6.7MB)
Killing Me Softly With His Song (6.5MB)
Feel Like Makin’ Love (6.7MB)
I Can See the Sun In Late December (19.8MB)
Set Free (6.4MB)
Gentle On My Mind (7.6MB)

Disc 2
Suzanne (13.2MB)
River (7.7MB)
Love Light In Flight (9.5MB)
Where Is The Love (3.5MB)
The Closer I Get To You (5.8MB)
One On One (9.5MB)
Whole Truth (4.9MB)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (5.4MB)
If I Am Still Around Tomorrow (fade off) (9.1MB)

Roberta Flack - vocals, piano
Barry Miles - keyboards
Larry McRae - bass
Howard King - drums
Phillip Hamilton - guitar
Harry Witaker - keyboards
Zene Zacharoff - keyboards
Dennis Collins - vocals
Gabrielle Goodman - vocals
Sadao Watanabe (guest) - sax

Click here to order Roberta Flack albums.

  1. 7 Responses to “BACK TO BLACK - ROBERTA FLACK, TOKYO 1985”

  2. That wonderful concert, congratulations.

    By luizevon on Feb 4, 2009

  3. Unbelievable concert. Thank you for posting.

    -Closet Roberta Flack Fan :o)

    By PSU on Feb 6, 2009

  4. This was great to hear. Thanks. Do you have any Minnie Ripperton or Phoebe Snow?

    By Jim on Feb 11, 2009

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m a very big Roberta fan. This is a treasure.

    By Timothy on Feb 14, 2009

  6. I was never a big Roberta Flack fan,but this ROIO changed things around.


    By Luis Torregrosa on Aug 4, 2009

  7. Thank you for this wonderful concert. Is is true that it has never been released? WOW!I am sorry for Roberta’s fans, all over the world. I was with her once that she performed in Chile on tv, and she gave a ring as a present, I will treasure it all my life. Ricardo, Chile S. A.

    By ricardo on Nov 9, 2011

  8. Oh, mybigo, there are some songs from Rflack that I have never heard before, and I tell you that I have heard all of her songs, thank you……

    By ricardo on Nov 11, 2011

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