Deep in a Dream

Helen Merrill

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Deep in a Dream Review

by Richard Mortifoglio

This 1965 album is the first of two great sessions for Milestone that the pianist Dick Katz arranged for Helen Merrill soon after she returned to New York from a triumphant second career in Japan and Italy. THE FEELING IS MUTUAL is a somewhat darker-hued affair than the gem-like A SHADE OF DIFFERENCE though many of the same fine musicians (Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Thad Jones, Elvin Jones) are on board. Heavily influenced by MJQ leader John Lewis, Katz's carefully calibrated approach is designed to effectively showcase Merrill's vocal artistry. Highlights include "Here's That Rainy Day," a reprise of Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain" from Merrill's still classic 1954 debut, and the magical "Deep In A Dream," which closes the album with the lyrically apt accompaniment of Jim Hall on guitar.

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