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Take the a Train Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

5 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 23, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Betty Roché was a superb but little-recorded singer who had a stint with Earl Hines's band and was with Duke Ellington in the 1940s and '50s. A genuine jazz singer rather than just a big band's requisite woman balladeer, Roché had an almost brassy attack, a vibrant sense of swing, and the ability to scat hornlike solos. Recorded in 1956 for Bethlehem, Take the "A" Train was Roché's debut recording under her own name, and it reveals her as a complete singer, with a warmly intimate delivery and a moving way with ballads. The emphasis here is very much on her strong ties to Ellington's music. There are lively versions of well-known Ellington material, such as the title track--composed by Billy Strayhorn--and "In a Mellow Tone," as well as a piquant rendering of "Something to Live For." She also delves into less familiar Ellington, like "You Don't Love Me No More" and "Go Away, Blues," heard here in several different takes. Vibraphonist Eddie Costa and trumpeter Conte Candoli add immeasurably to the settings. The CD will come as a more than pleasant surprise to fans of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Betty Carter. --Stuart Broomer

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Take The 'A' Train
  2. Something To Live For
  3. In A Mellow Tone
  4. Time After Time
  5. Go Away Blues
  6. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
  7. Route 66
  8. All My Life
  9. I Just Got The Message, Baby
  10. All Too Soon
  11. You Don't Love Me No More
  12. September In The Rain
  13. Go Away Blues (Alternate 2 & 3)
  14. Go Away Blues (Alternate 4)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 1956
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00004T0LY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,234 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Betty Roche was one of Duke Ellington's finest singers from the 40's, in the 50's she only recorded one session for Bethlehem "Take The A Train" this CD re-issues all the songs from the origiinal classic session plus two alternate takes. Since Roche only recorded two more sessions in the 60's on the Original Jazz Classics label, this is a valuble addition to anyone's jazz library. Roche had a highly appealing and swinging voice. She really scats like crazy, and takes plenty of chances, a true jazz singer. Highly recommeded.
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Format: Audio CD
For every Peggy Lee or June Christy who debuted with big band giants before going off to become individual stars, there are a dozen Betty Roches who didn't get the breaks to take that path. Roche was Duke Ellington's vocalist twice in her career, and she also worked with Earl Hines, but her solo years were lean when it came to making records. Fortunately, Bethlehem brought here into its studios in 1957 for this excellent recording. She's best known for "Take the A Train," but she shines just as brightly on "Something to Live For," "In a Mellow Tone," "September in the Rain" and eight other tunes. Conte Candoli contributes some fine trumpet work to make the evening complete. It's not surprising that the only extra material available to add to the CD were two alternate takes of "Go Away Blues." The rest of the tunes are good enough to do in one take.
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Format: Audio CD
As with most of the little other available recordings by Ms. Betty, this one is a no-brainer. You just have to get it. This is a good reflection of her days with Bethlehem Jazz, but outside of her unbelievable vocals, you get a couple of VSOP jazz cats coming over and laying down some licks. The ultra smooth, but taken from us way too soon, Eddie Costa lays down vibes. This cat was straight out of the Hamp/Milt school, but with that unmistakable 50's West Coast vibe that would make even Tjader look twice. Then you have Candoli on trumpet. Conte Candoli has been around forever, but imagine a young Chet studying from him circa "Live in Milan." That's about the general vibe of his style. Smooth and fluid and, if you haven't done so, you should check out each of those cats solo/quitent/etc releases. Even when Candoli was an old-geezer, he teamed up with Bob Cooper and put out a live album in 93 that was phenmonenal.

As for this one, it really needs no further explanation. If it does, you really shouldn't be here and should probably stick to buying Kenny G records and just go back from wherever it is you stumbled from. But, I sense that you ened up here because you are in the know, so you know what I mean. Since that's the case, just add this to your cart and thank me later. Enjoy it and get it while you can. It's already out of print anyway and going fast from the few sellers that are left.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought the "Ellington Uptown" album, unpreviewed, back in 1956 and was more than pleasantly surprised by the version of "Take the 'A' Train" and the scat singing of Betty Roche. In my opinion it was "THE" vocal rendition of Duke's theme.....and still remains so today. Somewhere along the way I came across the Betty Roche Bethlehem album featuring it as the album title song and even more amazing, the vocal was note per note of her recording with Ellington. The fact that I had not heard any other recordings by her was not so astounding as band vocalists in the fifties seem to come and go. Her album featured some more of Ellington's works and other standards which revealed a great style with the ballads as well as that wonderful talent she had at scat singing. In retrospect, she reminds me somewhat of another singer, Dakota Staton, popular in the late fifties and early sixties who afterwards seem to drop out of sight. On Betty's album, she works well with the small group which was enhanced greatly by Conte Candoli on trumpet and vibist Eddie Costa whose career was cut way too short by a fatal car accident.

This is a great album which I'm certain would be appreciated by anyone who likes fine jazz vocalists, Duke Ellington compositions, standards or small group jazz in any one or combination thereof.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nice to hear a new voice, thanks Amazon for the musical education you have given me! She is a wonderful singer, it's a shame there is not more of her recordings!
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