Helen Humes


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The last two years of the '40s saw Helen Humes growing considerably as a performer. While still showing her mastery of classic blues ("Married Man Blues") and high-octane swing (a frenetic live version of her previous hit, "Be-Baba-Leba"), she continued refining the type of blue-and-sentimental ballads she'd made famous during her Count Basie years (also the type of song that would carry her through the '50s). "Time Out for Tears" and "Don't Fall in Love With Me" find Humes reaching out to the trad-pop audience, and her version of "Somebody Loves Me" shows her finding the blues even in a Gershwin standard. As if her range wasn't stunning already, 1948-1950 also includes a splendid one-shot, a title called "I Ain't in the Mood" that sounds like it came straight from the Sun studio.

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