The combination of these Nancy Wilson albums, Hollywood: My Way and Broadway: My Way, provide pleasant, easy listening interpretations of Broadway and Hollywood standards. These 24 tracks - including "Tonight" from West Side Story, "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, and "Days of Wine and Roses" from Days of Wine and Roses - hold up exceptionally well. The LPs were originally released on Capitol Records in 1963 and 1964, and had been out of print until EMI reissued them on a compact disc in 2001.
Ella Fitzgerald was never thought of as a blues singer but she does a surprisingly effective job on the ten blues songs here, including "See See Rider," "Trouble in Mind," "St. Louis Blues," and Bessie Smith's "Jailhouse Blues." She somehow sings more or less in the style of the classic blues vocalists of the 1920s and largely pulls it off. Trumpeter Roy Eldridge, who has few solos and is low in the mix, is largely wasted, as organist Wild Bill Davis (with assistance from guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Gus Johnson) dominate the ensembles. It's an interesting set.
Surprisingly enough this 1963 LP was the first time (other than a couple songs) that Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie recorded together. (The match-up was so logical that it would be repeated many times over the next 20 years.) Fitzgerald sounds fine and, even if Quincy Jones' arrangements did not give the Basie musicians as much space for solos - although two songs do feature a bit of trumpeter Joe Newman, trombonist Urbie Green and Frank Foster on tenor - this is an enjoyable effort. High points include "Honeysuckle Rose," "Them There Eyes" and "Shiny Stockings."
It was originally issued as "Ella & Basie!" and reissued later with slightly different cover art as "On the Sunny Side of the Street".
This single CD reissues all of the music from two rare Dizzy Gillespie LPs. Dating from 1963-64, the set features the trumpeter's interpretation of the score of the obscure film The Cool World (although these are not the actual performances heard in the movie) plus 11 themes from other films. Gillespie, who is joined by James Moody (on tenor, alto and flute), pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Chris White and drummer Rudy Collins, was in peak form during that era and hopefully all of his other Philips recordings will also be reissued by Verve in the future. Although the liner notes deal only with The Cool World, the other set is actually of greater interest. Gillespie uplifts such tunes as the "Theme from Exodus," "Moon River," "Days of Wine and Roses," "Never on Sunday" and "Walk on the Wild Side," turning them into swinging jazz. The Cool World pieces (all composed by Mal Waldron) are also worth hearing although they are not as memorable overall. This set is a real historical curiosity and, although not essential, it is a release that should please Dizzy Gillespie fans while reminding others of how great a trumpeter he was before his long decline.
This electrifying bossa nova version of ten great songs from the West Side Story admirably showcases Bill Barron's triple-threat talent as soloist, arranger, and leader. Bill's relaxed, long-lined solos on tenor saxophone confirm him as a member of that school of "hard-nosed" lyricism wich includes Miles Davis, Stan Getz and Bill Evans.