Julie Wilson

My Old Flame

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Julie Wilson spent her first solo album, 1956's Love, released by Doubleday's Dolphin label, carrying a torch, for the most part, in songs about love gone wrong. Having moved on to RCA's Vik imprint for her second LP, My Old Flame, she takes on another set of sad love songs. Perhaps with a bit more money to spend, producer Bob Rolontz has plumped for three recording sessions with three different arranger/conductors, one of them being Phil Moore, who led a small jazz ensemble for all of the Love disc and here uses a slightly larger one, plus Russ Case and Marty Gold, who front more conventional orchestras. Wilson continues to sing in the rounded tones of Peggy Lee, for the most part, and she continues to exhibit a slight breathiness that recalls Billie Holiday. But she gives hints of a more assertive style, notably toward the end of Side 1 on Vernon Duke and Ogden Nash's "Just Like a Man," when she belts out the last portion bitterly. For the most part, she holds her emotions in check as a singer, preferring to let lyricists like Ira Gershwin and Lorenz Hart articulate the heartache and the hope for love to work out better than it seems to be doing. Wilson is certainly accomplished at showcasing sad sentiments, but she might try something a bit cheerier next time.

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