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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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Nancy Wilson

Turned to blue

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild

MCGJ 1022

 

 

  1. This is All I Ask
  2. Take Love Easy
  3. Knitting Class
  4. Be My Love
  5. Taking A Chance on Love
  6. Just Once
  7. These Golden Years
  8. I Don’t Remember Growing Up
  9. Old Folks
  10. I’ll Be Seeing You

When you hear this album it seems hard to believe that Nancy Wilson was born in 1937. Incredibly she seems to get better and better with age and this album recorded with many different backings, proves the point made earlier by great singers like Ella, Sarah and a few more that true class never fails.

Nancy is equally at home in the world of Pop and C&W as she is as a Jazz singer, but in the latter she is superb. On this album recorded in 2006, she is at her very best in what is a very well thought out programme of songs, some familiar, some unfamiliar, but all really enjoyable.

The backing on tracks 2,6,10 are provided by an All Star Big Band and what a band, they make a fine job of playing the arrangements of Dr John Williams. Many guest stars are also featured Bob Minzer plays tenor on track 1, Jimmy Heath if featured on tenor on track 4, Hubert Laws on Flute on track 5, James Moody on track 6, Tom Scott on track 8, Andy Snitzer plays tenor on track 10 and Dr Billy Taylor piano on track 11.

One of the tests of a really good album for me, is does it get even more enjoyable after you have listened to it a few times. This album passes that test easily, the sheer artistry and jazz feel of Nancy Wilson and the amazing talents of the supporting musicians, adds up to a feast of musical delights. There are some surprises as well, the short trumpet solo by Sean Jones on track 2 is a masterpiece! As for the various tenor sax stars, every one is a top man in the jazz world and each brings his individual style to the party, thereby enhancing the total result. Jimmy Heath’s playing on the ¾ time Knitting Class enhances a superb rendition of the song, as Nancy delivers the vocal with the ability of both a great singer and superb story teller. Be My Love goes really well as a Bossa Nova and it’s back to the Big Band for a very swinging Taking a Chance on Love, complete with a nice chorus from another tenor jazz master James Moody. Andy Snitzer from the Big Band delivers on tenor on Old Folks.

Although I have said a lot about the supporting cast, let there be no doubt Nancy is the star on what is one of the best vocal albums I have ever heard! And I’ve heard a lot of vocal albums!

Don Mather



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