Dinah Washington

Dinah '62

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The first of five LPs Dinah Washington recorded for Roulette during her last year and a half of life, Dinah '62 finds one of the foremost interpreters in vocal jazz treading merrily through a set of standards informed by Fred Norman's modern and commercially slanted big-band arrangements. Despite a few trad vocal backgrounds, most of these charts never overwhelm the songs or Washington's performances, and sometimes add to them; this version of the decades-old "Red Sails in the Sunset" benefits from its earthy electric guitar and organ. The singer brings a lifetime of experience to these songs, carrying the soporific world-weariness of Johnny Mercer's "Drinking Again" but then skating rompishly over the light novelty "Destination Moon." Washington is far more willing to indulge in histrionics than earlier in her career, but still exhibits remarkable control over her vocalizing, whether light or forceful.

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