Search - Helen Humes :: Songs I Like to Sing

Songs I Like to Sing
Helen Humes
Songs I Like to Sing
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Helen Humes
Title: Songs I Like to Sing
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ojc
Release Date: 7/1/1991
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, R&B
Styles: Delta Blues, Vocal Blues, Jump Blues, Swing Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 025218617123

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CD Reviews

Glorious stuff
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 10/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is perhaps a slightly overlooked album--but if you hear it you'll know why anyone who's heard it treasures it. Humes' voice is absolutely gorgeous (you'd almost believe the lyrics to "Million Dollar Secret" when she says she's 33!--she was 47), & she handles a challenging set of tunes & Marty Paich's complex arrangements effortlessly, modulating easily between intimate, plainspoken ballads & spirited numbers that bring out the joy & a certain steeliness too in her voice. The band's mostly West Coast musicians--Art Pepper gets the alto solos (this was one of the last things he did before getting thrown in the slammer for 6 years), Jack Sheldon the trumpet solos, Teddy Edwards gets one spot, & Barney Kessel, Andre Previn, Leroy Vinnegar & Shelly Manne are an instantly recognizable, blue-chip rhythm section. But the biggest pleasure is the presence of Ben Webster, who gets all over the ballads--just sample his work on the opening "If I Could Be With You", or his obliggatos on "Imagination". A few tracks have (discreet) string quartet accompaniment, which for once complements rather than oversweetens the music. Paich is respectful of Humes &, while there are plenty of modern touches to the charts, he always stays in touch with a 1930s/1940s big band sound & doesn't pepper the charts with cute touches (the bane of 1950s arrangements, I've found).

Virtually everything here is first-rate, but let me single out "If Could Be With You", "Mean to Me", "Every Now and Then", "My Old Flame" & "Imagination", all of them classic readings which bear out Humes' statement in the liner notes that "Primarily, I like to sing ballads." Somehow, despite the slight oddity of pairing Humes & Webster with a crack West Coast band, the results are a classic album. Do try."
Superb vocal album from 1940's R&B queen!
57Lincoln-Man | Lake Oswego, OR | 05/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This former r&b superstar from the late 40's, had a huge hit in "Million Dollar secret", and she reprises that song on thsi classic cd, that has the quality of one of Sinatra's Capital concept albums. This cd is a classic thru and thru from the achingly torchy performance she gives on Mean To Me, to the Gospel preachy sassiness of Roof Over My head. She also delivers a saucy version of her old hit Million Dollar secret with kittenish sensuality. Her vocie is so appealing, and sweet, and at the same time completely rhythmic and bluesy, yet happy! Humes career started as a delta blues singer in 1929, then Count Basie's girl singer in the early 40's and then as a r&b singer in the late 40's, so by the time she recorded this lp in the late 50's, she had already had 3 careers, and thsi was her 4th as a jazz singer, or a swing singer, using her roots from r&b, to make thsi set not only swing hard, but rock and roll as well, as bouce, bop, jump, and stomp. this little lady is like a vitimen pill full of energy and style, yet she handles ballads as wel las rhythm numbers. A perfect vocal set!"
T. Butler | Chicago, IL United States | 12/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Can't really top  N. Dorward "obsessive reviewer"'s review except to say that sound is amazing. Classic Contemporary sound except it is Holzer instead of DuNann."