Nancy Wilson

Nancy: Naturally

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Nancy Wilson displays all her talents on this 1967 Capitol release. On the blues end of things, she turns the lights down low with a smoldering cover of Lil Green's classic "In the Dark" and swings it hard and brass-heavy on the Joe Williams/Count Basie number "Alright, Okay, You Win." And for some of her patented ballad heaven, there are stunners like Michel Legrand's "Watch What Happens" and Lil Armstrong's forlorn standard "Just for a Thrill." To flesh out this relatively traditional program, Wilson keeps up with the times on mod pop reworkings of the Willie Dixon-penned Little Walter hit "My Babe" and another Joe Williams favorite, "Smack Dab in the Middle." Foreshadowing Oliver Nelson's fine blues and swing charts for Wilson's excellent Welcome to My Love recording, veteran arranger and Sinatra-alumnus Billy May provides nicely lubed charts full of organ pop and drum-kit power. Whether going full throttle, chilling after hours, or hinting at a bit of the old lowdown, May is adept with all the album's many moods. Nancy: Naturally may not be essential Wilson listening, but it still makes for a very enjoyable trip around the turntable.

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