A wonderful tribute to this European singer – the lovely Rita Reys, served up here in a package that features five of her best albums, all in little LP-styled sleeves! First up is a record on which Rita Reys meets Oliver Nelson
– and a host of other great jazz talents, including Lee Konitz, Benny Bailey, Sahib Shihab, and Klaus Doldinger! The tracks on the set are all standards, but they're done in the tightly swinging style of Nelson
's best backing work for vocalists at the time – complete with those warm tones and colors that always made his work some of our favorite in this mode. The mode is a bit different for Reys, who we normally know from more fragile settings – but it works especially well here, and almost seems to compensate for a faltering quality in her vocals at the time. Titles include "The Very Thought Of You", "Quiet Nights", "The Second Time Around", "If I Were A Bell", "Ill Wind", and "Wives & Lovers". Rita A Go Go is a wonderful live set – recorded with backings by a full orchestra led by Pim Jacobs, who bring a soulful punch to the proceedings that's really wonderful – and which helps Reys step out even more strongly than usual! Jacobs plays a bit of Hammond on the set, which is especially nice to hear next to Rita's vocals – and titles include "Call Me", "So Nice", "Sunny", "Day Tripper", "Goin Out Of My Head", and "Goodbye Sadness". Today is an incredibly groovy record from Dutch singer Rita Reys – quite possibly her grooviest ever, thanks to some very hip London touches from the Scott Walker team of Peter Knight on arrangements and Johnny Franz on production! At the end of the 60s, London was definitely one of the hippest places for a vocalist to work – a place where singers like Elis Regina, Blossom Dearie, and Ella Fitzgerald all opened up their talents tremendously. Rita does the same here – working with instrumentation that's full, flowing, and perfectly pitched to handle both the upbeat moments on the record, and the more contemplative ones – cast out over a well-chosen batch of tunes that go way beyond the standards! Titles include "The Moment Of Truth", "Soon It's Gonna Rain", "Our Language Of Love", "Sing A Rainbow", "You'd Better Love Me", "More Than You Know", and "Come Back To Me". Relax With Rita & Pim is a collection of work recorded by Dutch singer Rita Reys – all done with very jazzy backing by the Pim Jacobs Combo, a group that Rita often sang with at the time! The tunes on the set have some very groovy 60s touches – light bossa rhythms, sweet 60s approaches to rhythm, and a syncopated swing that makes the record groove a bit more than some of her other work from the time. In fact, the feel of the set's so nicely swinging, that the "relax" in the title is a bit misplaced – as out of all of Rita's records, this is the one that makes us want to get up out of the chair! Titles "Summertime", "Waltz For Debby", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Desafinado", "Bluesette", "The Boy From Ipanema", "Shadow Of Your Smile", and "Fly Me To The Moon". The last album is Rita Reys Sings Antonio Carlos Jobim – a set that shows that move into moodier modes that the vocalist took in later years – with a style that works beautifully here for the bossa compositions! Backings are by Rogier Van Otterloo, but the set also features a core combo with frequent collaborator, pianist Pim Jacobs – and the blend of piano, strings, and vocals has all the right lofty currents for these classic tunes by Jobim, with almost a mature Claus Ogerman vibe to the whole record. Titles include "Dindi", "How Insensitive", "This Happy Madness", "Triste, "Song Of The Sabia", and "Once Again".