June Christy

A Friendly Session, Vol. 2

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This is Vol. 2 of a trip to the recording studio June Christy made with the Johnny Guarnieri Quintet in 1949. Stan Kenton had disbanded his group the previous year, and Christy was on the road performing when NBC decided to pair her with the enigmatic pianist Johnny Guarnieri. (He was enigmatic in the sense that one was never quite sure whose playing would show up on his next musical outing: his or somebody else's.) Christy's voice is better adapted to big-band backing than to the smaller group. While she delivers several poignant ballads, the voice doesn't have the same vivaciousness and bounce that she showed with Kenton (and was to show in a few years on those wonderful recordings with Pete Rugolo). Guarnieri's group is nothing extraordinary, but provides a solid backdrop for Christy's still maturing voice. On "Talk of the Town," Guarnieri shows his classical background with a chamber music approach. "Yesterdays" has Johnny's brother Leo Guarnieri doing bowed bass. Christy apparently had a soft spot for "I'm Thrilled." She recorded it in 1946 with the Kentones and recorded it again in 1955 with Rugolo. The quintet accommodates Christy's up-tempo version of "Little White Lies" with Guarnieri playing some Teddy Wilson-like piano. Charlie DiMaggio does yeoman's work on saxophone, flute, and clarinet, especially on "Don't Worry 'Bout Me," where his tenor takes on a mournful hue. George Walters' pleasant but undistinguished trumpet fills up some space on "Love Is Just Around the Corner." There's uncertainty as to the identity of the drummer on this session (possibly Morey Feld or Frank Garisto). This is not quite vintage June Christy -- that was yet to come.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 1:55 Spotify
2 3:11 Spotify
3 2:01 Spotify
4 4:54 Spotify
5 2:10 Spotify
6 2:05 Spotify
7 4:17 Spotify
8 2:46 Spotify
9 1:55 Spotify
10 3:09 Spotify
11 2:06 Spotify
12 3:31 Spotify
13 3:32 Spotify
14 2:15 Spotify
15 3:25 Spotify
16 2:26 Spotify
17 3:35 Spotify
18 2:52 Spotify
19 3:33 Spotify
20 1:49 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick