|Description:||One of the jazz singers who are more popular and respected in Japan than in their home country, Helen Merrill's several albums are only available in Japan in the CD format, and this, the last of the five albums she recorded for the EmArcy label, is one of them. It consists of two sessions, both employing the same combination of instruments: piano trio plus guitar and flute.|
The first session (1, 3-6, 8 & 11) was recorded on Dec. 18 and 19, 1957, in Chicago with Mike Simpson, Dick Marx, Fohn Frigo, Fred Rundquist, and Jerry Slosberg. The second session (2, 7, 9, 10, 12) was recorded on Feb. 21, 1958, in New York with an all-star band including Bobby Jasper, Bill Evans, Oscar Pettiford, George Russell and Jo Jones. A connoisseur may find the participation of Bill Evans interesting as he rarely accompanied singers.
While Merrill's husky, moody voice is perhaps most suited for romantic ballads, as in the moving rendition of the title track in this album, she also has a unique and quite effective approach to swinging, up-tempo numbers ("Bye, Bye Blackbird," "I Remember You"). This is a wonderful collection of standards by a sophisticated singer.
Japanese reissue by Universal Japan; 24-bit digital mastering; mono.