Definitely "Complete" with Great Sound Quality
KC | Northern CA | 09/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the great singers of the 20th century. This series is definitely COMPLETE with excellent sound quality considering many of these tracks are over 40-60 years old.
It's a bit over-whelming with casual fans as each disc in the series has up to 70 tracks ... but she never phones any performance and offers her unique interpretation on each track, you'll find something to like in everything but they are slightly different.
VOLUME 4: Offers Dinah Washington more bluesy and jazz swing vocals.
VOLUME 5: More mainstream swing, some brilliant torch tracks and the beginning her ballads period.
VOLUME 6: Her ballads period including her standards-setting interpretation of MANHATTEN and WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES (of course, I could list another 20 :-)
VOLUME 7: A new phase in her career where they seem to add a lot of strings and backup singers but not necessarily making her recordings better. Of the recordings on these discs, some are remade with more strings and backup singers - softening them and making them a little more pop and a little less jazz. Whether you consider that an improvement or not is your call.
Personally, I believe Dinah Washington;'s strength are doing sparse ballads - her voice range, timber and her performances somewhere between Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald ... she's not quite as haunted as Billie Holliday but without the range of Ella.
My personal favorite is Volume 6 with its mostly ballads and her standard setting vocals.