Linda Lawson

Introducing Linda Lawson

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Linda Lawson doesn't have a very strong voice, but it is expressive and within its limits and the jazz settings arranged by Marty Paich. Here she delivers a generally satisfying, sometimes beautiful pop-jazz album. The repertory includes "You Don't Know What Love Is," co-authored by Gene DePaul, Cole Porter's "Easy to Love," and Bobby Troup's "Meaning of the Blues." Her intonation is occasionally questionable, particularly on the numbers that would have constituted side one of the original LP, and especially when she reaches for certain high notes, but even at those moments -- as on "Easy to Love" -- the band carries her, and the arrangement and the overall ensemble work. She'll skate past a number like that and then perform splendidly on "Meaning of the Blues" and "Mood Indigo," where it's impossible to fault anything she does. Jimmy Rowles (piano); Bud Shank (alto); Med Flory (baritone sax); Bill Perkins (tenor sax); Al Porcino, Stu Williamson, and Jack Sheldon (trumpets); Frank Rosolino (trombone); Bill Pitman (guitar); Joe Modragon (bass); and Mel Lewis (drums) make a superb band, although one wishes that Lawson and her producer DeAngelis hadn't followed up the hot, swinging "Like Young" (the best number on the album) with the string-laden "Hi Lili-Hi-Lo," even though she does a beautiful job with the latter number as well. The bluesy "Make the Man Love Me" and the gently swinging, high-flying "Up Pops Love" restore the mood. The original album is rarer than hen's teeth, but Fresh Sound records has re-released Introducing Linda Lawson on vinyl LP and as a CD, with beautiful sound and a careful reproduction of the original LP cover.

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