Five classic Mercury
albums from Dinah Washington – each presented here in a tiny LP-styled sleeve! On After Hours With Miss D, Dinah's in a perfect setting – one that gets more jazz out of her style than other records at the time! The "after hours" setting has Dinah singing with a relaxed jazz combo – one that features Eddie Lockjaw Davis and Paul Quinichette on tenor, Clark Terry on trumpet, and Junior Mance on piano – as well as some other nice touches, like congas from Candido, and a bit of organ work from Jackie Davis! The tunes still have the slightly bluesy feel of Dinah's other work, but are more jazz-based in their phrasing and presentation – and titles include "A Foggy Day", "Bye Bye Blues", "Am I Blue", "Blue Skies", and "Love For Sale". Dinah Jams is one of the best jazz-based sessions recorded by Dinah Washington in the 50s – appropriately titled Dinah Jams, which is a pretty good reference to the feeling of the set! The sessions were recorded in a relatively relaxed, intimate feel – not necessarily as unbridled as a true jam session might be, but with a lot more interplay between the instrumentalists in the group than you might get on a typical 50s jazz session. And with horn players that include Cliford Brown, Harold Land, and Herb Geller – alongside rhythm by Junior Mance, Richie Powell, and Max Roach – you'd have to expect that there'd be some good interplay on the set! Titles include "I've Got You Under My Skin", "No More", "Darn That Dream", "You Go To My Head", and a nice open-ended version of "I'll Remember April"! For Those In Love is excellent small group jazz work from Dinah – of the sort that's often quite tough to find on vinyl, and which represents some of her best work of all time! The album's got a good group of Mercury
jazz players – like Clark Terry, Paul Quinichette, Cecil Payne, Wynton Kelly, and Jimmy Cobb – all playing in a laidback intimate setting which works very nicely for Dinah's soulful vocals. Titles include "Blue Gardenia", "You Don't Know What Love Is", "I Could Write A Book", and "Easy Living". On Swingin Miss D, Dinah lets go with Quincy Jones orchestra, singing strong and hard in a set that's one of her best jazz sides from the 50s! Quincy knows how to mix just the right doses of straight jazz and tighter vocal arrangements – and Dinah's very comfortably at home in the setting, stretching out with a great sense of soul that really stands out. The album's an early example of Jones' great ability to work with singers – and titles include "I'll Close My Eyes", "Perdido", "Caravan", "You're Crying", "They Didn't Believe Me", "But Not For Me", and "Somebody Loves Me". What A Difference A Day Makes is one of the most important records in the career of Dinah Washington – even if only for the hit title track! The work here has Dinah elevating yet again – way past the R&B of her roots, and the jazz of a few years later – into a territory that definitely earns her the title of Queen, with her majestic ability to balance all those previous styles, yet also come across with a new level of sophistication! The vocals are heartbreaking – really moving into that rich emotion of her final years – at a level that would become a huge influence for countless others in decades to come. Titles include "What A Difference A Day Makes", "Manhattan", "Time After Time", "It's Magic", "I Won't Cry Anymore", and "I Thought About You".