Ann-Margret / Al Hirt


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An odd pairing on the surface, burgeoning starlet Ann-Margret joined affable New Orleans trumpeter Al Hirt for this interesting LP, produced by Steve Sholes, with Marty Paich leading a group that included Red Norvo on vibes and Gerald Hirt on trombone. The interplay is flirtatious and surprisingly natural between the actress (known best for Bye Bye Birdie, but soon to star with Elvis Presley in Viva Las Vegas) and Hirt, whose vocals are warm but a little stilted, especially on the title track, where his spacing with his trumpet is much better than his sing-speak voice. Ann-Margret displays her dynamite performing persona, using her vocals to act out the songs rather than singing straight. And the material is perfect for the occasion, standards from the past few decades that the pair don't so much perform as dance around, letting listeners fill in the familiar lyrics and melodies with their imaginations. A few New Orleans shades even rear their heads on "My Baby Just Cares for Me."

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