Peggy Lee

Guitars alà Lee

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This album is another product of Peggy Lee's second stint with the Capitol label coming after she left Decca and is one of the least satisfactory by the great singer during this period. Working with seven guitars, woodwinds, strings, bass, drums, and, on some cuts, a big band, all unidentified, Lee is asked to work with a set of pop tunes, some of which are well-known, others not. It's neither the fault of Peggy Lee, who is in excellent form, nor arrangers Dave Grusin, Bob Bain, Billy May, and Dick Hazard who prepared the charts for the tunes. It's just that the material they had to work with was wanting, at least compared to many of Lee's other albums. Songs such as "Goodbye, My Love" are shallow and don't present any challenge to the singer, even though she wrote it with Victor Young. It just seems that the powers at Capitol decided that they were going to cut an album with Peggy Lee, backed by all those guitars, and then tasked the arrangers to come up with a play list and charts that fit this thematic scheme. The result is not a total loss by any means. "Nice 'n' Easy" is an effervescent swinger. For "Good Times," Lee turns on the blues faucet, and May's "Call Me" sizzles. On this the album's last cut, the guitars are put away and Lee is backed by a typical May big band. It's just that the listener has put up with less than satisfactory material to get to these gems. This album has been combined with Pretty Eyes and reissued on CD.