Nancy Wilson

Ballads, Blues & Big Bands: The Best of Nancy Wilson

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One of the great modern song stylists, Nancy Wilson effortlessly blends her jazz know-how with a hefty dose of pop-soul touches. Her prime came in the '60s, when she cut a wealth of generally fine albums for Capitol. This three-disc set goes a long way in putting that period into perspective, containing as it does 60 of her best sides. The bulk here covers classic standards territory, with highlights including "The Masquerade Is Over," "The Good Life," and "Little Girl Blue." And, yes, there are plenty of ballads, blues (of the lite variety), and big bands (compliments of Oliver Nelson, Jimmy Jones, Gerald Wilson, and Billy May). There are also some fine sides featuring pianist George Shearing, taken from their excellent The Swingin's Mutual! record. For those interested in delving beyond the confines of single-disc roundups of the same material, this healthy package definitely won't disappoint.

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