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on February 18, 2011
This 2-CD set gathers together four 50s LPs by Morgana King, together with facsimiles of the original liner notes, which in order of recording were:

A. "Sings the Blues" from January 1956, with piano and rhythm accompaniment.
B. "For You, For Me, For Evermore" from March 1956 with small orchestra.
C. "Let Me Love You" from July 1958 with 7-piece group
D. "The Greatest Songs Ever Swung" from 1959 with four trombones, vibes, and rhythm, augmented on 5 tracks by 3 trumpets, and 4 saxes.

These are scheduled on the CDs as B, A, D, C. My own preference is for the 1956 recordings, where Morgana's silky cream-smooth voice is the centrepiece, and is embellished by the restrained playing of the musicians in her backing group. On the later sessions some of the accompaniments sound at odds with the song, and she seems to be striving for effect as a result of which her vocals are more mannered. I realise however that this is a matter of personal taste, and what strikes me as a slight falling off will appeal to others. Overall this is a superb reissue, and my criticism of the second CD is only in comparison with the very high standard set by the first. It is also a considerable bargain, which you'll appreciate if you try to acquire these four albums separately.
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on September 13, 2013
Morgana King is the "wife" of the Godfather movie's main character. She sings at the wedding of her daughter and does a perfect job of looking just matronly enough, just Italian and beautiful enough, just self-trained (which she is definitely not!) to fit the part. I became interested in her because of this role.
My husband and I often speculate...."What do you suppose so-and-so whom we enjoyed in the such-and-such movie...is doing these days."
So I decided to find out.

When I started playing excerpts of her on You Tube, I was blown away with the beauty and the vocal lines, the interpretations...the velvet voice of this person.

I started reading about her. She is extremely highly formally trained. When you hear her sing on these albums you become aware of how she then had to refine or alter these training disciplines to come across to the listeners interested in popular classic tunes (not classical...there is such a difference) that she is capable of singing. Eileen Farrell, of the Metropolitan Opera ultimately got hired to be a faculty member at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. During that time she was engaged to sing in her self-created blues style with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic of which my husband was then a member. He talked with her backstage during a break in the performance when he was not to be on stage playing horn. She told him that her husband walked a beat....a New York City cop. I never forgot that. I mention this because you just never think about the regular lives of remarkable people.

This is probably similar for Morgana King. She had a career I never knew about. The way Frank Sinatra learned to phrase and sing so beautifully, I recall learning, was to hear these fine backup orchestras that recorded or performed with him or, perhaps, with others. He absorbed the concepts of the string players as they phrased and articulated (or not) their music. He learned to sustain, to control dynamics and to not hold up the orchestra when he sang, but to learn how to draw out a phrase and then catch up. These artful things about singing in a "vamp style" have to be learned "on the scene," so to speak, unlike learning the classical training from vocal experts. All of this is important to know so that when you hear Morgana King sing, you become aware not only of her individual interpretations, but the seemingly effortless (ha ha) skill she evolved to produce lullaby-like sweetness as well as svelteness in her singing. Timing - perfecting it - is essential and a true gift, carefullyly developed over time.

I mention all of these things, because, as a classically-trained musician myself - pianist, choral director and professional harpist, I have been in places where I can appreciate these things and have come to realize that what is needed are 1. a God-given exquisite voice, 2. A remarkable intelligence, 3. The desire to achieve excellence and perfection if possible, 4. Tremendous self-discipline, and 5. An appreciation of these talents so as to not ruin them by over working them nor by misuse.

This album is just about as sweet as it can get. I highly recommend this, if you loved Frank Sinatra's style of singing. Or Eileen Farrell's album, "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues."

Morgana King is a real treasure! Thanks, Amazon for making this available. There is another one which I have ordered from Europe. Apparently its copyright in the US prevents its sale. She performed on a TV show and sang a tune that was just.....just incredible in technique as well as beauty. Go to You Tube and look for it. I think it was on Dean Martin's show and he introduced her as unbelievable. Was he ever right!!!!
nancy morse
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on November 26, 2013
I first heard Morgana King about 1972, when her album New Beginnings produced a hit jazz single, her version of Stevie Wonder’s You Are The Sunshine Of My Life. At the time, she was making her film debut as Mama Corleone in The Godfather. I understood immediately that it was a rare thing to find an Italian diva singing jazz, and an even rarer thing for anyone to possess so captivating an instrument. As I am wont to do when I hear a new singer that touches my soul, I attempted to amass as many of her recordings as I could. It turns out that this is not an easy task in the case of Morgana King.

One of the things I learned about her early on was that she had recorded many albums during the 1950’s, but stardom had somehow eluded her. In 1961 her album A Taste Of Honey turned the jazz world on its ear, which prompted a reissue of many of her early albums by Ascot, Verve and other labels. Unfortunately, with the sole exception of A Taste Of Honey, most of these albums were quickly consigned to obscurity. Anyone subsequently trying to thread the pieces of her career into a cohesive list of her accomplishments was doomed to a very difficult task indeed. I had managed to collect a few of her early albums on vinyl, but the confusion set in when I realized that many of her earlier recordings had been reissued under alternate titles in the wake of the success of A Taste Of Honey.

In the ensuing 40 years since I first heard her lovely voice, I have managed to collect a pitiful handful of her recordings which, according to some sources, number over 40 albums. How does a singer get to record so many records and yet not become a household name? For that matter, how does a singer who is not a household name get to record so much? Part of the answer can be found in the CD reissue FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS. Obviously, Ms. Kings producers believed in her talent. This release contains four of her 1950’s albums.

Her 1955 album, For You, For Me, Forevermore was reissued on CD in 1990 under the original title. As with the remaining three albums included here, Ms. King had not yet begun to display the vocal pyrotechnics that are the hallmark of her later career. Yet her voice is pure, simple and clear, showing only a hint of the amazing vocal range that rocked the jazz world with A Taste Of Honey. No matter; for on each of these gems she displays a voice as strong, lovely and soothing as any jazz singer of her day or this. For You, For Me, Forevermore contains 12 jazz standards, which she assails with an instrument as lovely and seasoned as you would expect from any well-known sensation.

I wish I had acquired this album before I shelled out over $50 for the import reissue of Morgana King Sings the Blues, an album that eluded me for over four years while I tried in vain to obtain a copy. Again, Morgana tackles mostly standards, yet her delivery is anything but standard.

The Greatest Songs Ever Swung is the sole album here that is new to my collection, and makes the purchase price of this CD worth every penny. Backed by a full jazz orchestra, Morgana handles swing classics as deftly as anyone save maybe Ella, but her approach sounds so fresh, even almost six decades after these tracks were recorded, that many listeners will immediately love her vibrant beat and deft handling of each and every melody.

Let Me Love You was reissued by Ascot Records as The End Of A Love Affair. Once again, Morgana attacks a plethora of jazz standards in a manner belying her experience at that point of the relatively early phase of her career. I had transferred the tracks from the vinyl reissue LP to digital long ago, but it’s nice to hear them again and actually learn the original title of this great album.

For the benefit of those trying to keep track of her various records, as of this acquisition, my Morgana King collection consists of 14 titles listed below, more or less in chronological order:

1950’s:

Let Me Love You (reissued as The End Of A Love Affair)
For You, For Me, Forevermore
The Greatest Songs Every Swung
Folk Songs A La King (reissued as Everybody Loves Saturday Night)
Morgana King Sings The Blues
I Know How It Feels To Be Lonely

1960’s:

A Taste Of Honey
It’s A Quiet Thing
Wild Is Love
Gemini Changes

1970’s:

New Beginnings
Stretchin’ Out
Everything Must Change
Tender Moments*

*Tender Moments is a compilation of her Muse Recordings, which include Stretchin’ Out and Everything Must Change. These were recorded in the late 1970’s.

There are a few more CD reissues I have not yet acquired. Anyone who is so inclined is encouraged to post comments with additional information.

If this is your first introduction to Morgana King, it is a pretty good one. At this price, I don’t expect this reissue to be available for long. Snatch it up while you can; you’ll be glad you did.

Highly recommended.
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on April 14, 2015
Morganna King's voice and interpretations totally captivate your intention. Every syllable grabs you and holds you
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on May 26, 2015
Wonderful album. I've been waiting for its release for so long
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on December 13, 2014
I love anything Morgana!!!
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on October 3, 2013
Like I stated earlier, I like Morgana King. She is one of my favorite artist. I could never put her in the same category as Sarah,or Ella, but she isn't for off.
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on August 22, 2014
This selection is not as good as her "Taste of Honey".
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on April 20, 2015
Morgana King is such a lovely singer.
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on September 7, 2011
morgana king in her youth was an awesome singer.this cd was recorded in her youth-but it is only so so. the songs are ok-but every track starts to sound the same.
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