Teresa Brewer

Memories of Louis

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The singing of Teresa Brewer was always producer Bob Thiele's blind spot. Although equipped with a voice quite suitable for pop and country music, Brewer always sounded overly cute and out of place when performing jazz, despite her husband's successful attempts to team her with the who's who of jazz. This CD is quite remarkable, for there are few singers who sound less like Louis Armstrong than Brewer, yet here she is singing a dozen of Satch's standards. What's more, she is joined by a different trumpeter on each track: Clark Terry, Nicholas Payton, Ruby Braff, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Lew Soloff, Terence Blanchard, Yank Lawson, Red Rodney and Dizzy Gillespie. (Where was Miles Davis?) Fortunately, each of the brassmen gets a worthwhile amount of solo space, only two songs are under 4½ minutes, and Brewer generally takes just two choruses. None of the boppish renditions sound at all close to New Orleans jazz, nor do any of the trumpeters show off much of a Louis Armstrong influence. A strange but very intriguing record.

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