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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The blues ain't nothin' but, 14 Mar. 2006
Leonard Fleisig "Len" (Virginia Beach, Virginia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Back to the Blues (Audio CD)
A woman cryin' for her man.
So begins Dinah Washington's "Back to the Blues" a wonderful album from a performer of great talent who died too young.
When I was a kid my father, a studio musician, would let me tag along with him when he had a recording date. One year, when I was about 9, he took me along to a session in mid-town Manhattan. We got there and waited, and waited. The studio musicians were sitting around playing cards, smoking, and telling jokes. I asked what was going on and he told me that Dinah Washington was scheduled to come in to record, she had a lot of `problems' and usually came in about 3-hours late. The musicians didn't mind all that much since they were getting paid by the hour. Sure enough, Dinah Washington (who I didn't know at all) strolled in and it was apparent, even to a 9-year old that she wasn't quite clear-eyed. But after a while the musician got themselves together and she stepped up to the microphone, opened her mouth and out came these sounds from a place I never knew existed. I knew nothing about music generally or the blues specifically but even I knew that something special was going on. I remember hearing that Dinah died about a year later of an accidental overdose of alcohol and sleeping pills. She was only 39 years old. So when I listen to "Back to the Blues" today I can't help but think that the tracks I heard her lay down that day found their way into this album.
As the title suggests "Back to the Blues" marked a return for Dinah to her blues roots. She was comfortable and very successful in the pop, jazz, and R&B arenas. Sad to say, some of her older fans resented her success as something of a crossover artist. No matter what the reason for her decision "Back to the Blues" is an example of Washington at her finest. The album starts with her plaintive "The blues ain't nothin' but a woman cryin' for her man" and takes off from there. The arrangements, most by jazz arranger Fred Norman and two by Don Costa, are lush as one might expect from the early 60s but Dinah's voice take center stage. Among my favorite tracks were "It's a mean old man's world" and "Nobody knows the way I feel this morning". The album contains three bonus tracks that did not appear on the original vinyl LP: "Don't say nothing at all"; "No one man"; and "Me and my gin". The tracks have been remastered and the sound quality is reasonably decent.
If you are already a fan of Dinah you don't need me to `sell' you on this CD. If you are new to Dinah Washington this CD is as good a place as any to start.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dinah Washington 'Back to the Blues' review, 2 April 2010
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This review is from: Back to the Blues (Audio CD)
I bought this CD as a present for my Father who has been a lifelong fan.

I know very little about Dinah's music but would descibe this album as a collection of mostly slow and moody blues. I love listening to this album late at night when all is quiet and there are no distractions . I can sink into a comfy armchair with a nice malt and Dinah
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Back To The Blues
Back To The Blues by Dinah Washington
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