Dinah Washington

What a Difference a Day Made [Entertainers]

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This European import CD is without annotations, which makes the exact source of the tracks difficult to determine, but they must be Mercury recordings from the 1950s and early '60s. In any case, the set begins with Dinah Washington the pop singer, leading off with her rendition of the title song (actually "What A Difference A Day Makes") and continuing with "Unforgettable," another pop hit. Thereafter, she takes on a series of standards including "Pennies From Heaven," "I Get A Kick Out Of You," and "Teach Me Tonight," on some of them accompanied by blaring orchestras and harmonizing backup singers and on others by smaller ensembles with long breaks for jazzy solos. Jazz fans will blanch at the combining of the two styles, yet Washington proves an effective performer in either context, with her clear articulation and precise note placement. The truth is that Washington was a multiple threat who didn't sing very differently despite the instrumental background, and even in this bare-bones presentation, she impresses.

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