Lola Albright

Dreamsville

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AllMusic Review by

Fans of Peter Gunn know Lola Albright as nightclub singer Edie Hart on that classic Blake Edwards TV series. This crossover album shows that Albright's considerable charm and talent were strong enough to merit her (sadly short-lived) recording career. Albright has a sexy, breathy, and jazz-inflected vocal style that is comparable to Peggy Lee and Julie London, and Henry Mancini's cool West Coast-style charts complement her low-key voice perfectly. One of the real pleasures of this album is hearing the vocal versions to so many of the songs from Mancini's hugely successful Peter Gunn instrumental album mixed in with the usual supper-club suspects. With the noted exception of the title track, none of these Mancini vocal versions went on to become widely recorded, which is probably explained by their beatnik eccentricity (molded to fit the black-turtleneck, bongos, and espresso style of Mancini's music). The most eccentric of these is saved for last, as Sammy Cahn's lyric for "Sorta Blue" casts Albright as a depressive cooing about how her melancholia is so deep that even booze and drugs can't lift her dashed spirits. This album is a time capsule for sure, but it's a great one and it deserves to be reissued on CD, just as Lola Albright's acting career merits a second look.

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