Lovers and Losers

Teddi King

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Lovers and Losers Review

by Dave Nathan

This session was recorded just about a year before Teddi King's untimely death at the early age of 48 from a breakdown of her immune system, weakened by lupus. Lovers and Losers was the second of three albums King made in the 1970s after a 14-year hiatus from the recording studios, during which she worked in TV and clubs (exclusively in Playboy clubs for a period of eight years). Influenced by the honeyed delivery of Mildred Bailey as well as the heavy vibrato of Sarah Vaughan, King eventually drifted toward a middle ground and this journey to the center is reflected on this CD, although the vibrato is more pronounced than on her earlier recordings. Joined by Audiophile's house trio of Loonis McGlohon, Mel Alexander, and Jim Lackey, King continues to show her immaculate sense of timing and feel for phrasing the lyrics on such tunes as "A Sunday Kind of Love" and a delicately rendered and haunting "Blackberry Winter." King could always swing, and she puts that talent to use on "Honeysuckle Rose," with added verse. Her ability to take tunes that didn't quite catch the public's fancy and make something of them is revisited with her fun styling of "Slightly Less Than Wonderful" and "There's a Man in My Life," both by Fats Waller. Her voice is more mature and deeper than it was in the 1950s, when she made some outstanding albums for RCA. It had also lost some of its vibrancy, probably due to illnesses that seemed to plague King. Nonetheless, King showed that, despite her health trouble, she could still perform with both polish and bounce.

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