Anita Gravine

I Always Knew

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One of the top vocal albums of the mid-'80s, everything works on this set. Anita Gravine, who had only recorded once previously as a leader (and would have to wait until 1993 until her third release was put out), takes lots of chances on ten selections and is consistently successful. With such fine musicians as pianist Mike Abene (responsible for the inventive arrangements), bassist George Mraz, drummer Billy Hart, and guests like trumpeter Tom Harrell and a string section, Gravine really digs into such songs as "Thanks a Million," "I'm Confessin'" (taken as a duet with Mraz), "Not for All the Rice In China," "Look for the Silver Lining," and a delightful version of "The Coffee Song." This is a gem.