Azie Mortimer

Feeling of Jazz

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Feeling of Jazz Review

by Jason Ankeny

Perhaps best known to collectors for her Northern soul favorite "You Can't Take It Away," singer Azie Mortimer also cut this rare jazz LP for the esteemed Bethlehem label, but despite a stellar supporting cast including Phil Woods and Harold Ashby, Feeling of Jazz is at best a pedestrian effort. Mercer Ellington handles arranging chores here, and while the record's big-band punch is clearly a product of father Duke's influence, it's more a rehash than a reinvention. That said, the blame lies primarily with Mortimer, who seems at best tentative and at worst overwhelmed by the size and scope of the music behind her. A few of the solos are nevertheless worth hearing, and nothing on Bethlehem is entirely without merit; still, this is a disappointment by any metric.