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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




JoanRecords.com

Dinah Washington

Portrait

BLUE classic line saban Crescendo 7256

 

 

 

  1. Never, Never
  2. Feel Like I Wanna cry
  3. I Ainít Goiní to Cry No More
  4. Am I Blue
  5. Pennies from Heaven
  6. Just One More Chance
  7. Make believe dreams
  8. Cold, Cold Heart
  9. Iím a Fool to Want You
  10. Ainít Nothiní Good
  11. My Manís an Undertaker
  12. Donít Get Around Much Anymore
  13. My Song
  14. Stormy Weather
  15. Ainít Nothing Good
  16. Go Pretty Daddy
  17. My Kind of Man
  18. I Wanna Be Loved
  19. Mixed Emotions
  20. My Devotion

The personnel information on this record is scant and what there is of it is inaccurate, so I have not passed it on! An example is tracks 4 and 5, where quite a large ensemble is listed, but the backing is by an Organ Trio with a tenor player who sounds like Lester Young. Fortunately these deficiencies do not spoil the enjoyment of the music.

Dinah Washington was one of the great jazz vocalists, steeped in the blues, who learned her craft as a band singer with Lionel Hampton; it was he who created her stage name. She was at home in the fields of rhythm and blues as well as the jazz genre and she also had several Ďhití records of which What a Difference a Day Makes (1959) was the biggest. These tracks come from the period 1950 to 1953.

Her timing, intonation and use of vibrato are the mark of a true jazz singer and Dinah was one of the best. She sounds very much at home with some of the interesting small groups she is featured with here and I am sure groups of jazz fans can have many an enjoyable evening, trying to guess who the accompanying musicians are. The delivery on My Manís an Undertaker is full of humour and swing. On the next track the personnel is wrong again, either someone had a bad day or was given some duff info. A backing trio is listed but the band is much larger, Dinah is again magnificent.

Ainít Nothing Good appears twice (10 & 15), two different takes? Why just on that track?

Dinah had a short life, she was only 39 when she died, but she was an artist of such calibre that her work deserves to be remembered, so it is good to have this example even if the supporting information is so poor. Would it really add so much to the cost to make a better job of the personnel listing and provide at least a minimum sleeve note about the artiste?

It is amazing that 50 years after a singer recorded this work, it requires all her genius to make the album successful. At least she did her work properly!

Don Mather

 



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