Dakota Staton

Crazy He Calls Me

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Possessing a sprawling voice, Dakota Staton marked her Capitol heyday with sets taking in everything from torch ballads and Shearing-soft swing to bluesy sides and novelty numbers. At times, though, she could overdo things a bit, awkwardly shifting from belting intensity to coy whispers within a single bar and giving it all a little too much of an interpretive spin. This is a minor quibble, though, because what's really memorable about this and other late-'50s and early-'60s Capitol releases of hers is that Staton delivers top-quality interpretations with a dazzling and usually well-gauged array of vocal nuances. In this regard, Staton's debut, The Late, Late Show, is deservedly considered her best; but the equally impressive Crazy He Calls Me should not be missed. Featuring singular takes on the title track, "How Does It Feel?," and "The Party's Over" -- not to mention a fine and varied selection of charts by Nelson Riddle, Sid Feller, and Howard Biggs -- the album figures in with many other classic jazz vocals dates of the era.