Corky Hale


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Corky Hale is one of jazz's finest harpists, although she has never stuck exclusively to playing harp, or specialized only in jazz. Hale, who worked extensively for years in the studios and in a wide variety of contexts, has recorded less frequently than her fans would hope. This welcome set from 1997 not only finds her taking some strong harp solos but also performing on piano, synthesizer and vibes, in addition to taking effective vocals on "It Might as Well Be Spring" and "Loving You." The music ranges from melodic jazz to pop and movie music. On some selections, Hale is backed by string orchestras led by either Don Bagley or Jimmy Haskell. Nino Tempo has a guest tenor solo on "One Less Bell," and Byron Motley takes an R&B-ish vocal on "Never Let Me Go." Although not strictly a jazz harp CD, this is an excellent all-around showcase for Hale's wide musical interests, with the highlights including a dreamy "Here's That Rainy Day," the haunting theme from "The Bad and the Beautiful" and a touching piano solo on "I'll Be Seeing You."

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