June Christy / Stan Kenton

Duet

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In the midst of her successful run of '50s solo discs, singer June Christy teamed up with ex-boss Stan Kenton for this fine collection of duet sides. Kenton exercises unexpected restraint throughout, shading Christy's dramatically cool delivery with snatches of Ellington color and chamber music formality. For her part, Christy doesn't miss a step shifting from Pete Rugolo's lushly provocative charts on the Something Cool and Misty Miss Christy sessions to this intimate setting. With her soaring tone and crisp phrasing, she manages to both dominate the proceedings and mesh nicely with Kenton's sophisticated backing. The mood is autumnal and keeps with Christy's many big band ballads: tenderness with a hint of the forlorn. Highlights include "Angel Eyes," "How Long Has This Been Going On," and "Come to the Party." Not the disc for the first-timers to get, but still a very solid collection for the faithful fan.

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