Though June Christy performed well in many different settings, she excelled when leading a small group or singing a sympathetic chart. Though in 1945 she was still a decade away from a dedicated solo career that saw her shine with Pete Rugolo's advanced arrangements, Christy began recording laid-back transcription dates with small groups of Stan Kenton sidemen. The Jazz Factory's collection of this material, Complete Capitol Small Group Transcriptions, trumps earlier collections like The Uncollected June Christy with the Kentones (1946) by offering 25 small-group titles from late 1945 and 1946, all recorded with a talented group of Kenton players including Bob Cooper, Kai Winding, Shelly Manne, and Ray Wetzel, plus guitarist Dave Barbour. Her voice given greater emphasis in front of this septet, Christy treasures her vocals on "Make Love to Me," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," and "September in the Rain." She also illustrates the extroverted voice that carried "Tampico" less than a year earlier by ad libbing a forceful "June's Blues." A prelude to the considered subtleties of her work in Kenton's Innovations Orchestra of 1950-51 and her Capitol solo career, Complete Capitol Small Group Transcriptions is an excellent complement to her more popular work of the mid-'40s.
AllMusic Review by John Bush