Nellie Lutcher

Hurry on Down [ASV/Living Era]

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She made her name with grooving jump blues novelties like "Fine Brown Frame" and "He's a Real Gone Guy," but Nellie Lutcher was no novelty act herself. Like Nat Cole, Lutcher combined an elegant tone and nimble musicianship in her piano-playing as well as her vocalizing, and proved just as bewitching a ballads singer as an up-tempo player. Hurry on Down, a compilation on the Empress label, has a few things to recommend it, since it includes all the hits, but there are two troubling issues. First, it focuses too much on her novelties at the expense of her finest ballad, "I Thought About You," and second, the disc boasts the Cedarized restoration method that unfortunately removes much of the high end from vintage recordings.

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