46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Grand slam on first frip to the plate.,
This review is from: Helen Merrill (w/Clifford Brown) (Audio CD)
I wasn't born when Helen Merill made this record on Christmas Eve some 45 years ago, but it's been in near constant rotation for me for almost 20 years. This is one of the truly GREAT vocal albums of all time--Helen Merrill has the kind of voice that should make just about every man go weak in the knees. Sure, she doesn't have the chops of Ella, Sarah or Billie, but her timing is on par with any of them and she can convey sadness and longing with the best of them(and it doesn't hurt on this recording to have Clifford Brown--among other heavyweights-- backing her up). These are the definitive performances of "You'd be so nice to come home to" and "Falling in Love with Love."
Unfortunately, Helen Merrill never really lived up to the promise of this album. A couple of pretty good records for Emarcy and another for MetroJazz from the mid-to-late 1950's are fine, but then she went into hiding in Italy for a while and resurfaced in Japan and made a few good records there. She's had a good career, but her first record is still her best (and one of the best jazz albums EVER in my opinion.)
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Initial post: Apr 25, 2013, 9:40:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2013, 9:41:32 PM PDT
Interesting. To my ears, those "pretty good records on EmArcy" display an artistic maturity, individuality, and emotional depth that exceeds this album. Good as it is, this sounds somewhat "tame" and conventional by comparison. I'm puzzled by your assertion that she "never really lived up to the promise of this album". It seems you would have preferred she continue in this "safe" vein, rather than developing into the more idiosyncratic, risk-taker that she became. Personally, I find my kneees going "weak" alot more when I listen to the EmArcy's, but then, no two pair of knees are created exactly the same.
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