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



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ETTA JONES

Always In Our Hearts

Etta Jones as we loved her

HighNote HCD 7124

  1. Did I Remember
  2. It’s Magic
  3. All of Me
  4. God Bless the Child
  5. Mr. Bojangles
  6. Second Time Around
  7. For Sentimental Reasons
  8. Let’s Beat Out Some Love
  9. Fine & Mellow
  10. I Should Care
  11. What a wonderful World


Etta Jones- Vocals
Houston Person – Tenor Sax
5,7 &11
Tom Aalfs – Violin
Dick Morgan – Piano
Keeter Best – Bass
Frankie Jones – Drums
8
Norman Simmons – Piano
John Webber – Bass
Kenny Washington – Drums
2,6,10
Russell Malone – Guitar
Steve Turre – Trombone
Tom Aalfs
Norman Simmons – Piano
John Webber – Bass
Kenny Washington – Drums
1,
Richard Wyands – Piano
Ray Drummond – Bass
Chip White – Drums
3,4,10
Richard Wyands – Piano
Peter Bernstein – Guitar
John Webber – Bass
Chip White – Drums

This album is a selection from previous HighNote releases over the period 1996 to 2002, the year of Etta’s death, made by her long time musical partner, tenor saxist and producer Houston Person. What a musical legacy this is, each song is performed with loving care, by an artist who obviously had great respect for the material she worked with. Each track is a sheer delight, Houston Person, says that these were her own favourite tracks and it is easy to hear why. These are true jazz performances, with Etta Jones interpreting each song in her individual way, but never straying so far from the composer’s intention as to make the song unrecognisable.

Houston Person himself makes a very significant contribution to the album and not only as the producer, his own tenor playing is excellent. Every note means something and he does not have to play a million notes in each chorus to make his point. The intro to Fine and Mellow makes my point perfectly!

There is something about the way American rhythm sections back singers, admittedly we have a few good ones in the UK, but each of the five pianists used here are excellent in that role. The bass players and drummers are equally good, but I guess the New York jazz scene has more great players than that of any other city in the world.

I started thinking of a favourite track, but after several hearings and different conclusions, I came to the conclusion that this is as near to perfect as a vocal jazz album is ever likely to be. The musicians have sufficient space to spread out and make their own significant contributions and the whole thing sounds so relaxed and easy, something you only ever get from master craftsman.

If you like your jazz melodic and I do! This album is for you and if you feel you have not paid enough attention to the work of the Etta Jones/ Houston Person musical combination, here is an excellent chance to catch up! I recommend it without reservation.

Don Mather



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