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Helen Merrill With Clifford Brown (Remastered)
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Helen Merrill With Clifford Brown (Remastered)

1 July 2011 | Format: MP3

4.83 (VAT included if applicable)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 July 2011
  • Label: Trunk Records
  • Copyright: 2011 Trunk Records
  • Total Length: 32:36
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B005C76TZG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,024 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 19 Jun 2008
Format: Audio CD
Originally recorded in December, 1954, when Helen Merrill was only twenty-five, this recording, now digitally remastered and re-released, was heralded the start of her amazing career. With Clifford Brown on trumpet, arrangements by Quincy Jones, who was himself only twenty-one, and fantastic back-up (Jimmy Jones on piano is especially notable), Helen Merrill was free to unloose her jazz interpretations and her explore her dramatic talent with lyrics. With a lush voice which still retains the sweetness of youth, she offers new variations on familiar melodic lines, provides sensitive interpretations of sad songs, and happily jives to the upbeat.

Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain," one of the saddest songs ever written, is brilliantly interpreted by Merrill, as she reflects the innocence of the betrayed lover who still loves and needs the betrayer and therefore chooses to accept betrayal. When Merrill sings, "You're my joy--and pain," no listener can fail to be moved. Clifford Brown's solo, though more assertive in mood than Merrill, adds to the drama. Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," more upbeat, is classic Merrill, the beautiful lyrics gaining the full romantic treatment, sometimes whispery, with Jimmy Jones's piano in the background and brushwork by drummer Osie Johnson before Brown enters for his solo.

"What's New" by Johnny Mercer receives a slower treatment than usual, Merrill singing in a pensive mood as she reminisces about the past and provides jazz variations to the melodic line. Brown's stellar solo is jazzier, more upbeat and full of improvisation. "Falling in Love With Love," another of Merrill's famous songs, also features a jazz cello by Oscar Pettiford, while the mournful "Yesterdays" is full of vocal variations and jazz improvisation by Brown.
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