Joni James

I'm Your Girl

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The 12 sides that comprise I'm Your Girl (1962) are a response to James' loyal enthusiasts who requested that the enormously versatile vocalist record a long-player of jazz-styled standards. Along with her husband and musical director, Anthony Acquaviva, James selected a dozen familiar pop melodies for a songbook of freshly arranged classics. She abandoned the immense orchestration found on her series of "100 Strings" releases for a smaller, yet equally effective backing combo under the direction of conductor and arranger Jimmie Haskell. His scores provide the vocalist with a light and airy instrumentation that perfectly complements James' rich and sensuous tonality.

In many ways, I'm Your Girl is an apt companion to her collections that highlight the work of specific composers, such as Joni James Sings the Gershwins (1964) or My Favorite Things (1964), which focuses on the melodies and lyrics of Rodgers & Hammerstein. In fact, a quarter of the material on this platter comes from the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart camp. Her beautifully empathetic voice quite literally caresses and illuminates "Heart and Soul," "Dream a Little Dream of Me," "I'll Walk Alone," as well as a few lesser-known sides such as "I Love You Much Too Much" and the project's title composition, "You're My Girl." In 2002 Collectors' Choice Music paired I'm Your Girl (1963) with the decidedly more masculine Something for the Boys (1963) -- which was an unabashed salute to the American military personnel she so dearly loved -- onto an expanded single-CD two-fer.

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