One of Blossom Dearie's fantastic albums for Verve – all of which stand as some of the best recorded work she ever did! The album features Blossom in a warm intimate group, which gives great focus to her endearing voice, and lively piano. She's backed by Ray Brown and Herb Ellis, and she sings some nice groovy numbers that hearken back to her days in France – including "The Riviera", "Plus Je T'Embrasse", and "Give Him The Ooh-La-La", plus an alternate take of "Give Him The Ooh-La-La". Nice stuff, and with a groovy cover to boot! CD
Lena Horne —
Soul ... CD EMI/United Artists, 1966. Used ...
Groovy Lena Horne from the 60s – an album that's a heck of a lot hipper and more swinging than most of her sets from a decade before! That unmistakable Horne style of singing is still very much in place here – but the backings are often tightly punctuated, with a gently soulful groove that definitely lives up to the title, and which serves up most of the tracks with a nice little sense of rhythm. Ray Ellis is working here with Lena on the backings – and his style is arguably a bit groovier than usual too, with more of the syncopations you might find in mid 60s Quincy Jones or Oliver Nelson. Titles include "I Got A Worried Man", "What The World Needs Now Is Love", "Love Bug", "Taste Of Honey", "I'd Like To Hear It Sometime", and "You Know What To Do". CD
A rare album cut by singer Lucy Ann Polk – a magical Mode session from the label's best year of 1957, featuring backing by a sextet that includes Marty Paich on piano, Bob Hardaway on tenor, and Tony Rizzi on guitar. Paich seems to have done the arrangements for the set, and he gives it an open-ended, relaxed feel that's pretty unusual for the time – really letting Lucy have a lot of space, but still also allowing for some nice instrumental solos as well! Titles include "Memphis In June", "Sitting In The Sun", "When The Sun Comes Out", "I'm Just A Lucky So & So", and "How About You". CD
Andy Bey on piano and vocals, with no other support – still sounding great after all these many years on the planet – and still one of the most unique singers in jazz! The album's based on a set of familiar standards, structured into "pages" – at a level that almost gives the record a sense of narrative structure – but although the tunes are well-known, Bey's performances certainly aren't – as he manages to break down the rhythms and melodies in really unusual ways with his piano lines, then match their energy with his singing, which still has all the old angular inflections you'd know from his work with Horace Silver or Gary Bartz. At some level, the spareness and deep roots take us back to his work with the Bey Sisters – without them in place, obviously – although there's a much richer sense of life and world presence holding the music together here. Titles include "Dog Eat Dog", "My Foolish Heart", "Jealousy", "All That Glitters Is Not Gold", "Everything I Have is Yours", "Humor Keeps Us Alive", "Good Morning Heartache", "Love For Sale", and "Lover Come Back To Me". CD