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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Keely Smith: The Essential Capitol Collection

Read "Keely Smith: The Essential Capitol Collection" reviewed by Samuel Chell

Keely Smith The Essential Capitol Collection Capitol/EMI 2007

Of all the great American female singers, Keely Smith may be the most naturally gifted. The instrument, the technique, the sense of melodic line all invite the closest analysis and emulation--simply exemplary, textbook examples of the art of singing. How do you explain such a phenomenon? There were no fewer than five Blue Note albums with titles referring to the “incredible" Jimmy Smith; little ...

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Keely Smith: The Essential Capitol Collection

Read "The Essential Capitol Collection" reviewed by David Rickert

With the overabundance of female vocalists making records in the fifties, it's not much of a surprise that Keely Smith has become lost in the shuffle today. If known at all, it's probably for her records with Louis Prima and not for her work as a solo artist. This is a shame, for Smith was a more than capable singer who, paired with the right material and terrific arrangements, could turn out splendid recordings.

This collection of Capitol ...

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Keely Smith: Vegas 58 - Today

Read "Vegas 58 - Today" reviewed by Celeste Sunderland

When Keely Smith sings “I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues, you believe her because she's the kind of woman whose authority goes un-argued. But in a way you doubt her because she's also the sort of lady who would always find her way around the blues. Actually, there's very little blues to be had on her new album Vegas '58 - Today. In fact, aside from a few velvety ballads, the band, the audience, and the star are ...

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Keely Smith: Las Vegas '58-Today

Read "Las Vegas '58-Today" reviewed by Jim Santella

In her lovely big band tribute to Louis Prima, Keely Smith sings the chestnuts that we remember him by. Her voice is in top form and she's able to provide the kind of intimate humor that she and Prima exhibited together. It's a live session that contains all the natural elements that make you feel like you're there.

When she performs in Las Vegas, everyone feels a part of the show. Smith moves around the audience and brings ...

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Keely Smith: Keely Swings Basie-style with Strings

Read "Keely Swings Basie-style with Strings" reviewed by Jim Santella

Keely Smith sounds as sweet and sprightly as ever. Recorded earlier this year, she interprets classic standards with a Southern California “who’s who” of big band artists in support. Recalling the legendary Count Basie Orchestra and adding strings, the album makes a genuine tribute to a powerful force in jazz’s history. Frank Collett’s swinging arrangement of “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” in particular, revives the embers with a hot hand. Standout soloists from the orchestra include Pete Christlieb on Smith’s ...

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Keely Smith: Keely Swings Basie Style...with Strings

Read "Keely Swings Basie Style...with Strings" reviewed by Dave Nathan

Surrounded by a bevy of the West Coast's top studio performers, an army of lush strings and tastefully selected popular song gems brilliantly arranged by Dennis Michaels, Frank Collett and Don Menza, Keely Smith shows that she hasn't lost a jot of that wonderful feel for swinging equaled by few of her peers over the years. Still possessing that voice which sang Little Girl Blue to the rough Big Bad Wolf pipes of Louis Prima, this Concord album shows why ...

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Keely Smith: Keely Sings Sinatra

Read "Keely Sings Sinatra" reviewed by Mathew Bahl

For vocal tribute albums to amount to more than a collection of standards, there should be either strong stylistic connections between artists (Dee Dee Bridgewater’s Dear Ella ) or strong personal ties (Carol Sloane’s The Songs Carmen Sang ). Keely Sings Sinatra has both. Keely Smith and Frank Sinatra shared a longstanding professional relationship as well as being romantically involved during the 1960s. Unfortunately, nothing on the CD suggests that those associations have given Ms. Smith a greater understanding of ...


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