CD Lady Sings the Blues [Capitol] (CD 939856),
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Lady Sings the Blues [Capitol]

  • 0. DISC 1:
    1. Key Largo - Sarah Vaughan
    2. Solitude - Ella Fitzgerald
    3. Embraceable You - Dianne Reeves
    4. Don't Go to Strangers - Etta James
    5. Call Me - Della Reese
    6. I'm Just a Lucky So and So - Diana Krall
    7. Call Me Irresponsible - Dinah Washington
    8. Something Cool - June Christy
    9. You Go to My Head - Keely Smith
    10. Very Thought of You, The - Nancy Wilson
    11. My Funny Valentine - Dinah Shore
    12. It Had to Be You - Kay Starr
    13. One for My Baby (And One More for the Road) - Rosemary Clooney
    14. I'll Be Seeing You - Peggy Lee
    0. DISC 2:
    1. Here's That Rainy Day - Peggy Lee
    2. Stormy Weather - Sarah Vaughan
    3. In a Sentimental Mood - Dianne Reeves
    4. They Can't Take That Away from Me - Diana Krall
    5. Body and Soul - Etta James
    6. Some Day My Prince Will Come - Cassandra Wilson
    7. More Than This - Norah Jones
    8. Thrill Is Gone, The - Patricia Barber
    9. You're Changed - Nancy Wilson
    10. Cry Me a River - Julie London
    11. Don't Explain - June Christy
    12. Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?) - Rosemary Clooney
    13. I Wish You Love - Keely Smith
    14. We'll Be Together Again - Lena Horne
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 80738

  • Credits
    EngineerDave McEowen

    Compilation producers: Bryan Kelley, La Von Freeman, Shannon Ward.
    No doubt influenced by the blockbuster commercial success of Norah Jones during 2002 (and her subsequent Grammy knockout in 2003), Capitol trawled through its considerable vaults to put together a two-disc collection of downbeat vocal jazz by females. Though it lacks an elegant booklet (with a Will Friedwald liner-note essay, perhaps?), everything else about Lady Sings the Blues is impressive. Concentrating on the '50s and '60s, though it includes much contemporary material as well (including Jones), the collection does make a few concessions to its intended market -- those seeking music similar to Norah Jones or Diana Krall -- but presents new and old with a sure sense of proper compiling and transition. Fortunately, not every inclusion is, in fact, a "blues"; the air could've become nearly suicidal over the course of nearly two hours. Instead, Lady Sings the Blues is occasionally broken up into mini-sets of love songs with the same solitary, late-night atmosphere: "You Go to My Head" by Keely Smith, "The Very Thought of You" by Nancy Wilson, "My Funny Valentine" by Dinah Shore, "It Had to Be You" by Kay Starr. Kudos also go to the compilers for their inclusion of vocalists who lack the artistic cach of a Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald; Shore, Starr, and Rosemary Clooney may be known better to cultural historians for their pop material, but they were all excellent in jazz modes, as they're captured here. Lacking any definitive performances, Lady Sings the Blues can't qualify as a first-purchase or a best-of-genre, but it is stunning in its own way, elegantly capturing standards and singers much better than they've been captured in the past. ~ John Bush

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