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Largely unknown in this country, husky-voiced vocalist Fionna Duncan sounds neither young and definitely not foolish. What comes across is that this is one savvy, swinging Scottish momma. Small wonder she's enjoyed a loyal following throughout Europe since the '50s. Her gruff warmth is as irresistible as the comforts of a welcoming pub. Duncan's take on familiar songs is rhythmically hip with a slant that's quite her own. Instead of the usual zippy reading, her take on Razaf and Denniker's "S'posin makes it clear she's thought it over and is not "s'posin' about anything. Mostly the songs are standards like "Remember , "Body and Soul , as well as that too infrequently heard gem, "A Kiss to Build a Dream On . On another special delight, Lawnhurst and Seymour's "Crosspatch , Brian Kellock's piano rocks.
Two real knockouts (now on one CD) Frances Faye Sings Folk Songs and I'm Wild Again, the latter conducted by Russ(ell) Garcia, were originally released in 1957 and 1955 respectively on the peerless Bethlehem label. Though scarcely physically taller or wider than a comma, Faye has a big, strong, shouting voice. The magic here is how unexpectedly poignant her satisfying grainy honk fits with the likes of "Greensleeves , "Goin' Home , and a to-the-bone version of "Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier . Backed by some blazing big brass she tears into "St. James Infirmary . As if that wasn't enough she goes Yiddish with "Oif'n Pripitchik and Irish with "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra in this unforgettable, haunting collection.
On the originally titled I'm Wild Again, the material is more conventional as she casts a seasoned but unjaundiced eye on the likes of "I've Got You Under My Skin , and "These Foolish Things . Her delivery of Cole Porter's "Love For Sale is starkly stripped down. Accompanied by a host of first-rank musicians including Maynard Ferguson, Frank Rosolino, Gerald Wiggins, Mel Lewis, Chico Hamilton and Red Mitchell, Faye remains in a class all her own and a very, very classy one it is.
Tracks and Personnel
Young and Foolish
Tracks: I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling; Lady Be Good; I Was Doing Allright; How Can You Face Me?; S'posin; Crosspatch; Young and Foolish; Remember; Body and Soul; I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart; A Kiss to Build a Dream On; The Eagle and Me.
Personnel: Fionna Duncan: vocals.
Frances Faye Sings and Russell Garcia Conducts
Tracks: Frankie and Johnny; Greensleeves; Skip to My Lou; Lonesome Road; Medley: Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen/Deep River/Goin' Home; Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier; St. James Infirmary; Go 'Way From My Window; The Three Ravens; Clementine; Medley: Oif'n Pripitchik/Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra/That's An Irish Lullaby/Come Back to Sorrento; John Henry; Toreador; They Can't That Away From Me; He's Funny That Way; I've Got You Under My Skin; All Of A Sudden My Heart Sings; Somebody Loves Me; September In The Rain; These Foolish Things Remind Me Of You; Love For Sale; Medley: Little Girl Blue/Where Or When/Embraceable You/ Exactly Like You/I Don't Know Why/My Funny Valentine/Bewitched; Clear Out Of This World.