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VA - Got Nothing But Song (2003)
Artist: Various Artists
Title Of Album: Got Nothing But Song
Year Of Release: 2003
Label (Catalog#): Universal Music [001]
Genre: Jazz, Soul-Jazz, Vocal Jazz
Quality: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks +.cue,log)
Bitrate: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Time: 48:39 min
Full Size: 117 mb / 280 mb

Got Nothing But Song is a collection of vocal jazz from the compilers extraordinaire at Hear Music. The emphasis is most heavily on female songstresses, but the album covers a range of material across the spectrum of vocal jazz. Opening the album is a later cut from Nina Simone's catalog that has an almost husky feel. Immediately following is the combination of husband and wife Louis Prima and Keely Smith with a bouncing swing number accentuated by a thick walking bass. Chris Connor leaves her mark on a low-key rendition of Duke Ellington's "Just Squeeze Me," and Dizzy Gillespie leads a small chorus of happy chanters in "Bang Bang." Betty Carter sings a solid ballad and Blossom Dearie moves between semi-violent lyrics and love poetry. Chet Baker will remind listeners of the cool crooners of the jazz world (as well as providing some worthwhile trumpet work) and Mose Allison redoes an old Willie Dixon number with a surprisingly smooth delivery. Returning to the female domain, Annie Ross (of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross) and the almost predictably included Ella Fitzgerald both add their takes on bop and scat vocals, with Fitzgerald coming up rather more subdued by comparison with Ross. Johnny Hartman's smooth and ultra-deep vocals return the listener to a deceptively calm area, only to be partially broken out of it by Etta Jones' half-wailing vocals. The absolutely necessary-for-any-vocal-jazz-compilation Billie Holiday makes an appearance with a bouncing rendition of "A Fine Romance," Shirley Horn contributes a tribute to Miles Davis, and Jimmy Scott closes the album with a lisp-ful "Bye Bye Blackbird" that holds a quiet power within the delivery. For fans of vocal jazz, there are certainly countless compilations available, many of which have quality items from any number of singers. This one differs a bit in its inclusion of the non-standard items (Gillespie) and the items that only border on jazz proper (Allison), as well as the inclusion of some of the underappreciated performers (Hartman, Ross). The album is certainly worth a listen for those who wish to have a greater appreciation for the range of styles available within the domain of vocal jazz.


01. Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares For Me
02. Louis Prima - (Nothing's Too Good) For My Baby (with Keely Smith)
03. Chris Conner - Just Squeeze Me
04. Dizzy Gillespie - Bang Bang
05. Betty Carter - Remember
06. Blossom Dearie - Everything I've Got
07. Chet Baker - There Will Never Be Another You
08. Mose Allison - The Seventh Son
09. Annie Ross - Twisted
10. Ella Fitzgerald - Yesterdays
11. Johnny Hartman - In the Wee Small Hours
12. Etta Jones - The Gal From Joe's
13. Billie Holiday - A Fine Romance
14. Shirley Horn - I Got Plenty of Nuttin'
15. Jimmy Scott - Bye Bye Blackbird

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