Les Double Six

Les Double Six

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Les Double Six of Paris was a French Lambert, Hendricks & Ross -- times-two -- and the striking-looking singer/lyricist Mimi Perrin was their Jon Hendricks. They had a thicker, more intricately arranged texture, impeccable diction, a fine sense of swing and great taste, and this generously loaded CD gives you a good idea of their range with three different lineups of singers. Included here are several transcriptions from the Quincy Jones and Count Basie big bands, the combos of Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Shelly Manne, and others from both genres. There is one unreleased track, a literal, at-length transcription of "Walkin'" à la Quincy Jones. Perrin's interpretation of John Coltrane's "Naima" is a spine-tingler; it must have been tough to nail the intervals of that melody and capture its soul as well. Though he does not take any featured solos, Ward Swingle would soon become the best-known expatriate of the group, going on to form the popular Swingle Singers. To the non-French speaker familiar with vocalese in English, there is something disconcertingly remote about many of these performances; the diction is so precise that you feel you're missing a lot of the fun.

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