Boy Meets Girl
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Boy Meets Girl
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Digitally remastered and expanded edition of one of the most charming and beloved albums of the 1950's. Sammy Davis Jr and Carmen McRae were two of the most proficient singers of their time and their chemistry together in the studio is simply magical. These renditions of popular favorites stand as testimony to the greatness of each member of the duo. This edition includes 1 bonus track (a single version of "I Go For You") and the tracks from the duo's 1959 recording of "Porgy And Bess", combining both meetings of these two all time greats on one CD.
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As for the rest of the album: McRae is at the top of her form which is the top of any female jazz singer's form.
The arrangements by Buddy Bregman, Mort Stevens and Jack Plies are the "top of the heap".
Listening to this today for maybe the first time in a decade, I was both stunned and jubilant. It made me feel like a kid of 65!
Now if they would only re-release a CD of "Carmen McRae at The Great American Music Hall" my Carmen McRae CD collection would be complete!
For some ears it may be a revelatory experience to hear Carmen McRae at this time (mid to late 1950s). By the early 1970s she was rightfully recognized as one of the top 3-4 jazz singers and interpreters of the American Songbook, but her once-lovely soprano had dropped considerably (perhaps by an octave) and it lacked the breath support that allowed her to draw out a phrase, finishing it off with a warm vibrato (the vibrato would desert her and her voice no longer had "body" when she sang softly). It was a credit to her that her interpretive abilities and all-around musicianship enabled her to work around the harmful effects of smoking. On this recording, however, you're able to hear both sides of Carmen--the ability to deliver a lyric convincingly and the vibrant vocal quality (which perhaps many listeners are unaware of).
There's no horseplay on the latter part of this collection--the "Porgy and Bess" session. Arranger-conductor Buddy Bregman, whose comments on his own recording are included among the Amazon reviews, has reason to feel satisfaction if not pride. The performances and settings rank among the best of the available recordings of Gershwin's unique opera, which enjoyed a revival in the late '50s (I wish someone would figure out that it's due for another one). As for Sammy Davis' tour de force performance, it should be sufficient in itself to place him in the front ranks of all-time great American entertainers. And the recorded sound of the vocalists and orchestra is not only balanced but has detail, depth, and "presence." This is a genuine, largely-hidden gem that, given the musical sensibilities (and absence of comparable talent) of the present millenium, is indeed an unrepeatable event.