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Maxwell and Roberta Flack Talk Future Collaborations

Maxwell and Roberta Flack

One of the unquestioned highlights of Grammy night was the pairing of two generations of soul sensations, as Grammy-winner Maxwell teamed up with one of the genre’s biggest stars of the ’70s, Roberta Flack. Later that evening, in the Grammy print room Maxwell had high praise for his duet partner, calling her voice “a national monument,” and saying, “She needs to get back out there and teach people how to sing again.”

That admiration is very mutual. “In this particular situation there’s a very strong musical reason why we work well together,” Flack told the BoomBox backstage at the awards show. “And that’s always rewarding because sometimes you can work with people who are really talented and moving, but the musical connection is so different that you really have to work hard to find that little core thing that you both share. But we’re both very passionate about melody.”

Having found this musical rapport, the two are talking about taking it beyond a one-night televised show. “I wanna do brand new songs. That’s what Maxwell and I were talking about,” Flack says. “He said, ‘What are we gonna do? We should take this on the road.’” And she concurs. “I said, ‘If you write, I’ll write.’ So we’re gonna write and we’ll see what we come up with.”

The 72-year-old soul legend’s last studio album was 1995′s ‘Roberta,’ and even she admits she is open to a duets album, but hits a block. “I’m sort of like the queen of R&B duets,” Flack says, noting her work with Donny Hathaway, Peabo Bryson and several others. “So I think that I would certainly consider that if someone come up with a plan. But I’m thinking, ‘How can you top Maxwell? How can you top Luther [Vandross]? How can you top Donny?’ What would I do?”

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