Sheila Jordan was a name that was on the periphery of my knowledge for many years, but she would usually crop up in discussions of the best jazz singers. Having heard this album, I am now a dedicated fan. Possessing a delicate and intimate voice, Sheila is marvellous on this 1963 collection of great songs. She prefers a stripped-down backing, using here only guitar, drums and bass (she later recorded many sides with bass solo). That's all fine with me - for my taste much of the best jazz singing happens with the most sensitive accompaniament.
Sheila is a superb lyric interpreter as well a fine musician - she truly explores a song's words and makes them breathe (this is especially evident when she tackles a monolgue like "When the World Was Young"). Her other special trait is an improvisational fearlessness which makes her singing as creative as any artist in this field. This all adds up to a singer who always sounds deeply connected to her art and completely honest; you can't ask for more from a jazz singer and this set from her early years is a great place to start enjoying her work.