Phyllis Ford

My Own Space

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Self-produced, Phyliss Ford's first album offers a menu of songs of unrequited love and unfulfilled desire moderated by the eternal optimism that love will eventually win. All are delivered in that intimate, personal manner unique to cabaret style. Ford bounds through those familiar chestnuts associated with this vocal style ("bounds" because nothing on this album lasts as long as four minutes). Typical is Ford's offering of the Jule Styne/Betty Comden/Adolphe Green "Long Before I Knew You." Delivered in a clear, pristine voice with impeccable diction, Ford is at her storytelling best. The same is true with "Says My Heart," made popular by Maxine Sullivan. Blossom Dearie is honored by Ford's cover of Bart Howard's "Let Me Love You." This album is graced by a couple of Johnny Mercer rarities, "At Last" and "Something Tells Me." Discovered by Mercer's wife after his death, she sent them to Barry Manilow, who added the music. There's nothing complex or elaborate with any of the music on this album. These are mostly old-fashioned songs delivered in a straightforward manner by member in good standing in the cabaret singers club. She gets plenty of help from Wayne Sabella on piano, who introduces strings from time to time on synthesizer. A pianist from the past appears on "Says My Heart." Danny Hurd's career spans stints with Claude Thornhill's Orchestra, as well as with Tommy Dorsey and Hal McIntyre. He recorded with his own group for Keynote in the late '40s. It's nice that this type of singing style continues to be carried on by talented performers like Ms. Ford.

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