* Soul to soul: Gladys Knight has named Jones as one of her three favorite vocalists, along with Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick. Jones, who died of diabetes at age 28, also was a big influence on Teena Marie, who covered Jones’ “Hypnotized” in 1994.
* The lowdown: No other soul record packs as much anguish into three minutes as Jones’ “For Your Precious Love.” Her wailing, crying and hollering epitomize the desperation of wanting to lose yourself in a lover. Much of Jones’ other material suffers from weak songwriting, but her no-time-for-subtlety vocals redeem even the tritest number. She starts at a climax, then moves to places seemingly uncharted on any map of emotion or sound.