A real turning point in the career of singer Mark Murphy
– 2 great sessions for Capitol from 1960, both with creative arrangements from Bill Holman, and a sound that opens up strongly from Murphy
's Decca years! In a way, the records are the first time that Murphy
really got to do what he wanted to on record – and working with Holman, he really opens up in the inventive, expressive modes that would mark
sound of later years – a style that was light years ahead of other male singers in jazz! Some tracks have small combo backings, others have big band, and a few feature support from a larger chorus – but throughout the entire set it's clear that Mark
's not just a run of the mill pop singer on Capitol, and can sing here with a level of jazz that few others on the label ever matched! Material is from a range of different modes, but even when the choice of tune seems slightly hokey, Murphy
's got a way of turning it into something new and hip. CD features all the tracks from both albums – 24 titles in all that include "Firefly", "Lonesome Town", "Venus", "Send For Me", "Witchcraft", "Catch A Falling Star", "As Long As I Live", "Heart & Soul", "Playing The Field", "Swinging On A Star", "Put The Blame On Mame", and "My Gal's Come Back".
(Note: CD oddly has the tracks reversed – so that Playing The Field titles are listed as being from Hip Parade, and vice versa – but the whole thing's still musically great!)