Sweden has been a fertile breeding ground for outstanding jazz players. Many Swedish jazz musicians have attracted attention well beyond the country's borders. But there is at least one well-kept secret in the Swedish jazz conclave, vocalist Nannie Porres. Porres first gained recognition in the 1950s as an 18-year-old working with a group called Jazz 57, which included, among others, the then-youngish tenor saxman Bernt Rosengren. He and other members of that group are present on this 1986 LP released by the Dragon label. The long Porres/Rosengren association is felt immediately on "Don't Explain," when the tenor man ruminates at the edges of Porres' vocalizing, before breaking out in a doleful solo. The record's varied play list is structured so that Porres has the freedom to show her complete mastery of her profession. Kicking off with a bluesy, down-in-the-gutter rendition of Ray Charles' "Black Jack," she conquers a program of well-known ballads, jazz classics, and some not-so-familiar material. One mannerism that is present in all of the cuts is her special way of addressing the lyrics so that their meaning is conveyed to whoever is listening, including the other musicians. Her years of singing this material have made her very precise in what she wants to do with the music. Porres wears this music like a pair of comfortable slippers. Although not well-known in the U.S., she has influenced the younger generation of singers in her own country, including Lina Nyberg. Dragon would do well to reissue this LP on CD, to allow many more to experience and enjoy the special talent of Nannie Porres.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan