Jazz vocalist Billy Eckstine's own band had folded by the mid 1940s, but Eckstine's smooth, radiant baritone had found favor with popular listeners. This fine compilation brings together a number Eckstine's recordings from his pop balladeer phase of the late '40s and early '50s.
The songs from KISS OF FIRE feature lush orchestrations (from the likes of Nelson Riddle and Pete Rugolo), and the track list is comprised of pop ballads of the day ("No Orchids for My Lady") mixed in with the odd standard ("Someone to Watch Over Me"). Eckstine's rich vibrato and melting tone bring out the most in the material, while his command of phrasing is clearly informed by his jazz past. These accessible, commercial sides showcase Eckstine's talent as a pop crooner as well as his earlier, more jazz-oriented stylings.