Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Jazz Round Midnight
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
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What A Diff'rence A Diva Makes
El Lagarto | Sandown, NH | 11/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dinah Washington certainly has a place in the pantheon of R&B vocalists, but she doesn't get nearly the credit she deserves. For vocal beauty, phrasing, and especially enunciation, Washington was faultless, bringing power and pathos to everything she touched, from raw blues to jazz to pop fare like the irresistibly catchy duet with Brook Benton, "Baby, You've Got What It Takes." Beginning in gospel, which she abandoned, Washington moved easily through various genres, alienating some of her following in the process, as if she were being punished for versatility, or, to put it differently, her refusal to be pigeonholed.
Like many others, Washington began her career in Lionel Hampton's band. In an era that already had a "Duke" and a "Count," Washington dubbed herself "Queen," a sobriquet that matched her larger than life talent, appetites, and attitude. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how a woman who did not reach the age of 40 managed to find time for seven marriages and various affairs, including one with Quincy Jones. Jones arranged many of the tracks on this CD, which are taken from the storied Mercury and EmArcy recordings. While Washington is way up front, the supporting cast is exemplary, (Clark Terry, Jimmy Cobb, Milt Hinton, etc.)
The ballads on this CD will be familiar to all but the greenest of bananas, but Washington's approach is distinct and strong. There is an edge to her delivery, a complete lack of sentimentality that makes the message austere and haunting. In the wrong hands these songs become goopy and maudlin, Washington gives them clarity, focus, and bite. Certainly the CD is enormously pleasing to the ear, even as "fireplace and brandy-in-a-snifter" background music, but there is a hard-won authenticity that makes it worth hanging on each and every note. While all tracks are wonderful, if you look carefully, when "I'll Close My Eyes," begins playing, you can actually see the disc starting to melt. Superb."
Midnite Blues w/ Dinah
Peter | East of Los Angeles | 08/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a collection of Dinah Washington's interpretation of well-known ballads and show her incomparable artistry in singing ballads. Most of the public know Dinah for her blues-tinged, mama-beltin' style, but this CD really shows her quiet side---she certainly can tone it down when she wants. The songs are well chosen and some are previously associated w/ other jazz artists. For instance, Dinah takes Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain" and Nancy Wilson's "Don't Go to Strangers" into her own territory and remakes them into her own. You almost forget these songs are associated w/ other great jazz artists; Dinah has that ability. The songs are mostly the heart-broken, unrequited love kind, but Dinah takes all the sap out of these songs, yet still conveys the ache and pain thru her bluesy voice. The orchestration and arrangements are sympathetic and understated, even w/ a large orchestra. Well recommended."
Jazz 'Round Midnight:Dinah Washington
Jose Figueroa | Buffalo, New York United States | 07/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Undoubtfully the most underrated Diva of her epoch.Overshadowed by the likeness of Ella Fitzgerald,Billie Holliday and Sarah Vaughan,Dinah brought her unique,sensual and sometimes witty style to those who trully appreciate a star when they listen and see a star in their Glory. Jazz'Round Midnight(Verve Records)is one of the most romantic compilation of songs by Dinah that I have ever heard.One only need to sit back(with the one you love,of course)by the fireplace in a cold wintry night and be transported to a world of ectasy and romance,thanks to the Divine voice of,in my opinion,the true Queen of jazz. Be rest assure that all the pain and hardships that accompany love will magically disappear when you listen to this album. Jazz'Round Midnight(Verve Records)is a must have by those who trully understand what love and romance is all about. Ironically,in the song "If I Had You",she sings "I could be the Queen,yes,the Queen uncrowned".How prophetic those lyrics were...."