Teresa Brewer - The Songs Of Bessie Smith / It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing
Digitally remastered two-fer containing a pair of albums by the vocalist on one disc.
Teresa Brewer was a child star who became one of the biggest pop singers of the 1950s, moving into jazz in the early 70s. These two albums, which hooked her up with the two greatest band leaders: Count Basie and Duke Ellington, are a pleasant surprise and show her to be a natural in this company. An album of songs by the great blues stylist Bessie Smith was chosen for the album with Count Basie. Brewer puts her own stamp on these classics, which never seems forced and never tries to do a crude impersonation of the originals.
Basie, playing better than ever, and his band prove to be the perfect foil for what is a very satisfying album. Perhaps the greatest compliment paid to it was that it prompted Duke Ellington to ask when he would be making an album with the singer. Ellington was nearing the end of his 60-year career - his date with Brewer proved to be his final studio recording - and he brings all his experience to the session. In a mixture of line-ups they tackle many of the great songs associated with his band through the years, an exhilarating and joyous set ranging from the thrilling title track to a subdued 'Mood Indigo'. It was a final triumph for this great musician, and a wonderful step forward for the singer.
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