How Do You Say I Don't Love You Anymore

by: Freda Payne

In 1966, when Freda Payne recorded How Do You Say I Don't Love You Anymore for MGM, she had already recorded a jazz LP for Impulse! but was still a few years away from Invictus and her commercial peak with the polished '70s soul of "Band of Gold." Although the LP was arranged by Benny Golson, one of the finest arranger/composers in jazz, it was closer to a pop date than vocal jazz. Payne sang "Yesterday" and "Let It Be Me" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," while the studio charts of Golson (and production by Tom Wilson) looked to the contemporary pop burgeoning across the pond from Petula Clark and Tony Hatch. (Think punchy but compressed brass, perfect for mono speakers in car radios and department stores.) Despite her early jazz leanings, Payne proves herself a far better pop-soul singer, sounding great on the two songs with the most hit potential, the title track and "You Never Should Have Loved Me." By comparison, her interpretations of the standards are clumsy; she holds notes a beat too long and wrings every last note of melodrama from "Yesterday" and "Let It Be Me." Overall, not a bad dry run for her Invictus recordings, which would begin in just a few years. ~ John Bush

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