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I've had this on LP ever since 1962 when it first came out. Unfortunately my copy is now full of clicks, pops and surface noise. Particuarly annoying on a vocal album. Imagine my surprise when I spotted this new release on CD. Aside from the fact that Christy is in fine voice, the big attraction for me is the arrangments and big band backing her. Arrangements are by Bill Holman, Shorty Rogers and Bob Cooper and the band, which fits Christy like a glove, consists of people like Conte Candoli, Frank Rosolino, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, Bill Perkins, Jimmy Rowles and Mel Lewis. Christy goes through 12 standards that all have been associated with the bands of Ellington, Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Ray McKinley, Goodman, Dizzy, Harry James and Charlie Barnet. Just check out the titles. Recording quality is excellent and you become very aware that this is one of those recordings with a big band and a vocalist where the band does not overpower the singer. A real joy.
Track Listing: You Came A Long Way From St. Louis, Swingin' On Nothin', Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby, Prelude To Kiss, Skyliner, A Night In Tunisia, It Don't Mean A Thing, Frenisi, Stompin' At The Savoy, Goodbye, Time Was, Until.
Personnel: Conte Candoli, Lee Katzman, Al Porcino, Ray Triscari, Vern Friley, Dick Nash, Frank Rosolino, John Halliburton, Lew McCreary, Ken Shroyer, Joe Maini, Charlie Kennedy, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, Bill Perkins, Jack Nimitz, Jimmy Rowles, Joe Mondragon, Mel Lewis.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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