Nancy Wilson has been on the fringes of jazz throughout her career, mostly performing middle-of-the-road pop and R&B. Most of her albums were major productions, but her 1969 effort, But Beautiful, is quite different. On a relaxed and tasteful program of ballads (including three previously unreleased numbers), Wilson sounds properly expressive and a bit influenced by Dinah Washington, while backed by a flawless rhythm section comprised of pianist Hank Jones, guitarist Gene Bertoncini, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Grady Tate. Her performances are straightforward, a little soulful, and very mindful of the melody and the lyrics. There is little of jazz interest here, but this is superior ballad singing and one of Wilson's finest recordings.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow