Lee Wiley / Ellis Larkins


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Although only 38 at the time of this recording and still in her musical prime, singer Lee Wiley was already thought of as a has-been, and was finding it increasingly difficult to locate work. Her sophisticated, gentle, yet sincere swing style was out of favor by the mid-'50s, but she still had something to say. This CD reissue features her haunting voice showcased on eight numbers with a quartet that includes trumpeter Ruby Braff, pianist Jimmy Jones, bassist Bill Pemberton and drummer Jo Jones; the best are "My Heart Stood Still," "My Funny Valentine" and especially memorable versions of "It Never Entered My Mind" and "Glad to Be Unhappy." Although pianist Ellis Larkins, who is heard on four unrelated unaccompanied solos, gets co-billing on the CD, he and Wiley never actually meet.

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