Dinah Washington

American Legends #19

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Dinah Washington's vocal skills are apparent in any legitimate collection of her recordings, even this cobbled-together miscellany of 12 songs she recorded over a period of many years for Roulette and Mercury and with such bandleaders as Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. In fact, Washington's versatility is emphasized in tracks that range from pop to blues to jazz. But her triumph comes despite the odd selection, sequencing, and sound quality of this set, which presents her without context or sympathy. There are virtually no annotations to suggest where LaserLight (by way of Rod McKuen's Stanyan Records) got this material. You get what you pay for: Released at a $9.98 list price, this 37-minute disc provides a few enjoyable moments, even if it doesn't make much sense for fans.

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