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MUSICIAN Born:

Helen Merrill

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: 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jazz Singers in the 1950s – Sarah Vaughan, Helen Merrill, Dinah Washington and Abbey Lincoln (1954 - 1962)

Read "Jazz Singers in the 1950s – Sarah Vaughan, Helen Merrill, Dinah Washington and Abbey Lincoln (1954 - 1962)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Many jazz singers of the 1950s continued the tradition of recording with major instrumentalists who were given the space to improvise, feeding off the collaboration. In 1954, EmArCy records matched three of their singers, representing the wide range of their offerings--Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Helen Merrill--with jazz ensembles featuring their rising star, trumpeter Clifford Brown. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Moon Songs and The Rhythm of Life

Read "Moon Songs and The Rhythm of Life" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Much to celebrate this week with new releases from MaryJo Mundy and Ken Peplowski and Diego Figueiredo, plus birthday shout outs to the great Dorothy Fields in the first hour, Phoebe Snow in the second hour, vocalists Margaret Whiting, Ruben Blades, Rufus Wainwright, Jimmy Scott, Helen Merrill and guitarist Mary Osborne, among others, with a collection ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Musical Tribute To Caffeine

Read "A Musical Tribute To Caffeine" reviewed by H William Stine

Caffeine—voted the #3 most popular way to stay awake during my show—right after thinking of words that rhyme with “constellation" and reliving your latest root canal (I'll let you figure out the order). Two hours of songs about coffee and tea and the singers who enjoy them, plus, to sweeten the cup, I've tossed in several ...


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