A complete listing of tracks with sound samples can be found on the MP3 version of this album: Compact Jazz. You will find that whoever selected for this compilation chose wisely. The songs range from lush orchestra arrangements of standards such as What A Difference A Day Makes to a Bessie Smith cover backed by a trio. Many of the tracks are backed by orchestras conducted by Quincy Jones and Ernie Wilkins. The use of strings add considerably to such renditions as Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Unforgettable and Manhattan. Don't let the tracks using orchestras and strings deter you because those tracks swing. Dinah and the arrangements and ensembles were not compromised in any way.
Two highlights for me were I've Got You Under My Skin performed with the great Clifford Brown. His trumpet solo in the song is masterful. Her rendition of I Remember Clifford - Benny Golson's moving tribute to Brown who died at a young 25 - is so soulful that it evokes tears.
I also love All of Me, which is taken from her 1958 Newport Jazz Festival performance. She is backed by Wynton Kelly on piano, Urbie Green on trombone, Terry Gibbs on vibes, Don Elliot on mellophone, Paul West on bass and Max Roach (drums). What makes this song special is what actually happened at the Festival versus what you hear on the album - during Terry Gibbs's vibe solo she grabbed a pair of mallets and performed a duet with him.
Also, her performance of Backwater Blues backed by Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul West on bass and Max Roach on drums shows her jazz trio chops. This was also from the Newport Jazz Festival.
Dinah's versatility as a musician is clearly shown by this album. It's easy to see why she earned the title as Queen of the Blues, and equally easy to hear that she could perform jazz standards with the best of them.
I also recommend checking out Dinah Jams, which has an equal spot on my list of favorite Dinah Washington albums.