Newly remastered Stereo
Born in Chicago on April 2, 1932, Barbara Long was essentially a small group singer in the tradition of Billie Holiday and the early Sarah Vaughan. Her first professional gig was as featured vocalist with tenorman Johnny Griffin s trio at Chicago s Cotton Club. Early in 1959, she headed for New York, where a recording opportunity with altoist Herb Geller (tracks #13-16) led to a chance to record her own album for Savoy. Called Soul, it was the only one she ever made. Backing her is the multifaceted arranger and trumpeter both open and muted Billy Howell, who had accompanied her since her Chicago days. He was attuned to every nuance of her style and she used his malleable and lovely tone as an effective contrast to her more broad- gauged sound. The front line included one of the brightest new tenor saxophone stars at the time, the fiercely rhythmic Booker Ervin, a featured soloist in Trolley Song and When You re Smiling. The rhythm section Nat Phipps, piano; George Tucker, bass; and Al Harewood, drums is tight and together, while Barbara Long s pithy, faintly hoarse, intimately bluesy voice blends like a sixth instrument with the thoroughly cooking quintet that supports her.