Dee Dee Bridgewater

Midnight Sun

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Midnight Sun, issued by Decca/Emarcy, is a ballads collection of jazz and pop standards assembled from Dee Dee Bridgewater's recordings for Verve and other UMG-associated labels dating back to 1993's Keeping Tradition, and moving through 2010's Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee. For those who've followed Bridgewater's career by collecting her albums over the last 18 years, there is only one track here you likely don't already own, a gorgeous version of the Edith Piaf standard "L'hymne a L'amour (J'ai Deux Amours)," previously only issued in Japan as a bonus track on the album of the same name. It's a gorgeous duet with guitarist Luis Winsberg sung in both French and English. Other highlights here include the title track from 1997's Dear Ella album (written by Johnny Mercer), her fine version of the Earl Brent and Matt Dennis nugget "Angel Eyes" from Keeping Tradition, "Lonely Woman," from Love & Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver, and Kurt Weill's and Jay Lerner's "Here I'll Stay" from This Is New, released in 2002. As an album, these tracks -- all beautifully remastered -- hold together very well despite the variety of instrumental settings, and Bridgewater imbues them all with her consummate phrasing and intimacy.

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