Happy 35 candles, Amy Winehouse

The late Amy Winehouse was a phenomenal natural talent, a tremendously gifted singer with a wonderful feel for jazz and soul. She would  have turned 35 on Friday.

It took me a while longer than others — too long — to fully appreciate her abilities as a vocalist and song stylist. I regret not having had the chance to see her perform. And, obviously, I’m most saddened that she left us so soon.

Want insights into Winehouse’s gifts and into the exploitation of her talent, which doubtless played a part in the emotional upheaval leading to her death? Check out the Oscar-winning 2015 documentary “Amy.” You’ll be moved and, probably, angered by how she was treated by the relentless paparazzi as well as those who were closest to her, including her husband and father.

As a side note: My band, Acme Jazz Garage, frequently plays instrumental versions of her songs “You Know I’m No Good” and “Love is a Losing Game” during our regular gigs Thursday and Friday nights at Timpano in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village.

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