Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Man Ain't Supposed to Cry
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Perhaps a man ain't supposed to cry. But when that man boasts the soulful individualism of the incomparable singer Joe Williams, he ain't supposed to sound like other people, either. That fact alone explains the problem wi... more »
Perhaps a man ain't supposed to cry. But when that man boasts the soulful individualism of the incomparable singer Joe Williams, he ain't supposed to sound like other people, either. That fact alone explains the problem with this legendary, long unavailable ballads-and-strings album. Recorded in late 1957, Cry sought to present Williams in a different light from the one he occupied in front of the Count Basie band, transforming him from a sophisticatedly bluesy jazzman into a pop crooner. Surrounded by treacly strings on "I'm Through with Love," he sings the verse with the prim correctitude of Ella Fitzgerald's "songbook" albums; when he navigates the plunging melody of "What Will I Tell My Heart?," he begins to sound like Nat "King" Cole; holding the long notes on "Say It Isn't So," he channels a bit of Frank Sinatra; and when he swoops up to a melody's zenith, on "What's New?" or "I'll Never Smile Again," you catch a whiff of Sarah Vaughan. Much of this has to do with repertoire. Williams could always sing the standard ballads better than most jazzmen, but a whole program of them--even one as short as this (under 36 minutes)--plays against such strengths as his gritty soul and enormous swing. But you also have to blame the big-orchestra treatment. Only when the arrangements feature the horns over the strings, imparting something bluesy to the mix, does Williams really sound at home. Label M touts A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry as "the best album Joe Williams ever made," but even though he sings splendidly, it's not the Joe Williams most of us want to know. And if it's a great standards set from Williams you're after, check out The Greatest ... Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards. --Neil Tesser
Joe williams "a man ain't supposed to cry"
Barry Brierley | 02/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i have owned this album x2 and it has disappeared both times. it is a fabulous album. the editorial reviewer who rated this album is full of crap. i don't pay any attention to professional reviewers, they are too full of themselves."
A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry
Barry Brierley | Cincinnati, Ohio United States | 02/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joe Williams built his considerable reputation singing "big band blues", most notably with the great Count Basie group. And many people will only know and care about that side of the artist. But with this album, he made a strong claim to greatness as a mainstream singer of standards and ballads. Rendered with exquisite taste in his signature profundo baritone, this set is perhaps Williams's finest work. No melodrama, no Barbra Streisand histrionics, just gorgeous readings of lovely songs that echo with the emotion and sadness of lost love. Bravo Joe."