Nancy Wilson

But Beautiful

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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.

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