Dinah Washington - Anthology (Music CD)

Release Date: 02 May 2011
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Like Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington went from being a great jazz vocalist to being a great traditional pop vocalist. Jazz snobs called her a sellout in the late '50s and early '60s, but jazz snobs be damned -- quality is quality. Spanning 16 years, Anthology 1943-1959: The Deluxe Edition focuses primarily on Washington's jazz side. The only traditional pop offering on this 62-minute CD is a lush, captivating 1959 arrangement of the Cole hit "Unforgettable"; otherwise, jazz prevails whether Washington is performing swing as a featured vocalist for Lionel Hampton's orchestra in 1943 and 1944 or taking a jazz blues approach on 12 solo recordings for Apollo Records in 1945. The Apollo material (which marked the beginning of Washington's solo career) is excellent, and her live performances with the Hampton band -- most or all of which were broadcast by the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) during World War II -- are rewarding even though they fall short of essential. The only time Anthology moves into outright hard bop territory is on a passionate 1954 recording of "Lover Come Back to Me" that boasts an inspired solo by the distinctive trumpeter Clifford Brown (who was a major influence on Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Donald Byrd, and others). Anthology isn't really a best-of and wouldn't be the ideal place for a novice to get started, but Washington's more seasoned aficionados will find a lot to savor on this generally excellent CD. ~ Alex Henderson
Release Date: 02 May 2011

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Catalogue No: MCLCD8041