442

Dinah Washington: Music for Lovers

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Dinah Washington: Music for Lovers Dinah Washington's biting, blues-smoked phrasing is often cited as the primordial ground from which singers such as Esther Phillips and Nancy Wilson blossomed, and through them, more contemporary vocalists like Chaka Khan and Patti Labelle subsequently bloomed. This new collection of ballads draws from Washington's 1962-63 recording prime, a fertile period when she released several albums of ballads and blues, arranged and conducted by longtime Frank Sinatra favorite Don Costa, for Roulette and Mercury Records.

Like every female blues/jazz vocalist of the past century, Washington operates in a world first illuminated by the legendary Billie Holiday. Holiday's classic composition "Lover Man opens this set in dark shadow; the instrumentation lays out a typical "ballad with strings homogenized session, but Washington's vocal phrasing burns more acidic, almost bitter. Washington also mulls over a "Blue Gardenia (Holiday's trademark flower) accompanied by an ensemble that sounds smaller and bluer.

"Romance in the Dark presents Washington at her wanton best; she writhes under the cover of Billy Butler's legendary soul-jazz guitar, relaxing to bounce with the insouciant lilt of the blues then grinding her hips down to turn out the final verse in a voice that's most authoritatively bad-ass and beautiful, her own flower growing from the root of Bessie Smith. Her interpretation makes it clear: she ain't talking about romance—she's talking about ballin' in the dark. But for the most of the rest of album, Sings for Lovers presents the Dinah Washington so focused on refinement that she distills the blues completely out of her repertoire.


Track Listing: Lover Man; For All We Know; Romance in the Dark; I Didn't Know About You; You're a Sweetheart; Blue Gardenia; I'm Gonna Laugh You Out of My Life; The Good Life; That Old Feeling; If It's the Last Thing I Do; He's My Guy; I'll Never Stop Loving You.

Personnel: Dinah Washington: vocals; Orchestra arranged and conducted by Don Costa; Orchestra arranged and conducted by Fred Norman; Eddie Chamblee: tenor saxophone; Billy Butler: guitar; Patti Bown: piano; Milt Hinton: bass; Earl Edwards: tenor saxophone; Jack Wilson: piano; Jimmy Sigler: organ; Everett Barksdale: guitar; Jimmy Thomas: drums.

Title: Music for Lovers | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Crystal Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "New Jazz Standards, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review New Jazz Standards, Volume 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "A Kenton Celebration" CD/LP/Track Review A Kenton Celebration
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "The Other Shore" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Shore
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Countdown" CD/LP/Track Review Countdown
by Doug Collette
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.