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Songs I Like to Sing

Helen HumesAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B000000Y9R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,971 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)
2. Don't Worry 'Bout Me
3. Don't Worry 'Bout Me [Alternate Take]
4. Mean to Me
5. Every Now and Then
6. I Want a Roof Over My Head
7. St. Louis Blues
8. You're Driving Me Crazy
9. My Old Flame
10. Million Dollar Secret
11. Love Me or Leave Me
12. Imagination
13. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious stuff October 7, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is perhaps a slightly overlooked album--but if you hear it you'll know why anyone who's heard it treasures it. Humes' voice is absolutely gorgeous (you'd almost believe the lyrics to "Million Dollar Secret" when she says she's 33!--she was 47), & she handles a challenging set of tunes & Marty Paich's complex arrangements effortlessly, modulating easily between intimate, plainspoken ballads & spirited numbers that bring out the joy & a certain steeliness too in her voice. The band's mostly West Coast musicians--Art Pepper gets the alto solos (this was one of the last things he did before getting thrown in the slammer for 6 years), Jack Sheldon the trumpet solos, Teddy Edwards gets one spot, & Barney Kessel, Andre Previn, Leroy Vinnegar & Shelly Manne are an instantly recognizable, blue-chip rhythm section. But the biggest pleasure is the presence of Ben Webster, who gets all over the ballads--just sample his work on the opening "If I Could Be With You", or his obliggatos on "Imagination". A few tracks have (discreet) string quartet accompaniment, which for once complements rather than oversweetens the music. Paich is respectful of Humes &, while there are plenty of modern touches to the charts, he always stays in touch with a 1930s/1940s big band sound & doesn't pepper the charts with cute touches (the bane of 1950s arrangements, I've found).

Virtually everything here is first-rate, but let me single out "If Could Be With You", "Mean to Me", "Every Now and Then", "My Old Flame" & "Imagination", all of them classic readings which bear out Humes' statement in the liner notes that "Primarily, I like to sing ballads." Somehow, despite the slight oddity of pairing Humes & Webster with a crack West Coast band, the results are a classic album. Do try.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humes' finest 50's seesion!!! September 21, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Helen Humes who started out singing dirty blues in the 20's, also was Count Basie's "girl singer" in the 30's, but her biggest success was when she went out on her own in the 40's and made it big with her hit "E-Baba-Leba." Humes always had a bell like vioce, which is hihly appealing, her jazz phrasing is exquisitem, and she indeed gives Ella a run for her money on this essential 1959 set titles "Songs I Like To Sings" and they are songs we like to hear her sing. Included are essential versions of "If I Could Be With You" "Every Now & Then" and "Million Dollar Secret". All arrangementa are by Mel Torme's regular arranger Marty Paich, Paich's arrangements are perfect for Humes' honey dipped vocals. Humes' singing style had only improved with time(in fact she cut some great seesions in the 1980's) This is perhaps one of the finest jazz vocal LP's ever to be reissued on CD(another one is Lee Wiley's "West Of The Moon) This is essental music folks, buy a copy today.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Aaron
Format:Audio CD
This CD reissue of the 1959 LP "Songs I Like To Sing" by Helen Humes with Marty Paich's Orchesta is simply one of the best jazz vocal albums of all time. Helen Humes has a highly appealing voice and is able to swing and tackle ballads with ease. One of the most underrated singers of our time. THis CD comes highly recommended and should be in any serious jazz collectors library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb vocal album from 1940's R&B queen! May 8, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This former r&b superstar from the late 40's, had a huge hit in "Million Dollar secret", and she reprises that song on thsi classic cd, that has the quality of one of Sinatra's Capital concept albums. This cd is a classic thru and thru from the achingly torchy performance she gives on Mean To Me, to the Gospel preachy sassiness of Roof Over My head. She also delivers a saucy version of her old hit Million Dollar secret with kittenish sensuality. Her vocie is so appealing, and sweet, and at the same time completely rhythmic and bluesy, yet happy! Humes career started as a delta blues singer in 1929, then Count Basie's girl singer in the early 40's and then as a r&b singer in the late 40's, so by the time she recorded this lp in the late 50's, she had already had 3 careers, and thsi was her 4th as a jazz singer, or a swing singer, using her roots from r&b, to make thsi set not only swing hard, but rock and roll as well, as bouce, bop, jump, and stomp. this little lady is like a vitimen pill full of energy and style, yet she handles ballads as wel las rhythm numbers. A perfect vocal set!
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