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Helen Merrill

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Helen Merrill was born on July 21, 1929, in New York City. She is a first generation American, her parents immigrated from what is now known as Croatia. She began singing as a teenager in the late 1940s. In 1951, she was a vocalist with the Earl Hines band. She recorded two songs on the Roost label in 1953, ‘My Funny Valentine’ and ‘The More I See You’, which mark the beginning of her long recording career. These recordings led to her being signed to a contract on the newly launched EmArcy label of Mercury Records. The first single released by EmArcy Records (EmArcy 16000) was by Helen Merrill

Article: Album Review

Mette Juul: New York - Copenhagen

Read "New York - Copenhagen" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Questo EP della cantante Mette Juul prosegue quanto espresso nel precedente Change, selezionando cinque intime ballad, quasi tutte entrate nel novero degli standard. Il titolo del disco fa riferimento alle due metropoli che hanno ospitato le session: tre brani sono stati incisi a New York in duo col chitarrista Mike Moreno mentre gli altri tre a ...

Article: Album Review

Sheila Jordan: Comes Love: Lost Session 1960

Read "Comes Love: Lost Session 1960" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Una registrazione inedita in studio di Sheila Jordan del 1960 (che anticipa di due anni Portrait of Sheila, il debutto ufficiale Blue Note) ci dà gioia. Per valutare appieno il valore della scoperta ricordiamo che le incisioni della Jordan prima del 1975 (quando era già prossima ai cinquanta) sono rare e dei primi ...

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Article: Album Review

Becca Stevens, Elan Mehler: Pallet On Your Floor

Read "Pallet On Your Floor" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Tra le più sensibili e originali cantanti contemporanee, la trentacinquenne Becca Stevens sa esprimersi egregiamente in ogni contesto (come testimonia anche il recente Wonderbloom d'impronta synth-pop) ma quando affronta le ballad mette in luce le sue massime qualità espressive, risultando insuperabile. Non esiste vocalist della sua generazione capace di esprimersi con analoga purezza ...

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Article: Interview

Eddie Daniels: 'Sings' Ivan Lins

Read "Eddie Daniels: 'Sings' Ivan Lins" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Eddie Daniels, one of the finest of clarinetists during his decades in jazz, is still an active, curious, exploring musician. He welcomes new things. His latest album, Night Kisses: A Tribute to Ivan Lins (Resonance Records), set to be released at the end of July, represents something new for him. Music is an art ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums

Read "Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz and the movies have a shared history stretching back almost a hundred years. The relationship came into its own in the US in the mid twentieth century. Elia Kazan's 1950 movie Panic In The Streets is an early example of how film makers used jazz-based soundtracks to enhance drama and atmosphere and create ambiances of ...

News: Video / DVD

Helen Merrill and Bill Evans

Helen Merrill and Bill Evans

In February 1958, singer Helen Merrill recorded five tracks backed by Bill Evans, who was part of a superb quintet. The tracks would be their only studio recordings together. Evans would move on to the Miles Davis Quintet and Sextet that May and then form his own trio at year's end. Helen would spend 1958 and ...

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Article: Interview

John Swana: Philly Gumbo

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in June 2000. In addition to being one of the finest contemporary jazz trumpet players, John Swana is a human being who is spontaneously authentic and refuses to play a false role. Having reached the ripe old age of 38, John has ...

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Article: Album Review

Ian Shaw, Iain Ballamy, Jamie Safir: What's New

Read "What's New" reviewed by Chris May


What's new? Not the dozen songs on this enchanting trio album. Most of them have been around for well over fifty years and people will likely still be enjoying them in another fifty. The composers include Duke Ellington, Richard Rodgers, Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Van Heusen, Michel Legrand and Leonard Bernstein. Musically sophisticated and lyrically literate, the ...

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Article: Album Review

Mette Juul: Change

Read "Change" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Giunta al quarto disco, la cantante danese riafferma la sua identità di seducente interprete, in equilibrio tra canzone d'autore e pertinenza jazzistica. Mette Juul non sembra interessata a inseguire le mode o i gusti del pubblico. Se confrontiamo questo lavoro con l'esordio del 2010, Coming In From The Dark, le differenze non sono tanto nelle ...


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