Dinah Washington

Queen of the Blues [ASV/Living Era]

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More befitting the "Queen" than the "Blues" in the title, this Living Era compilation includes many of the jazz standards Dinah Washington recorded during the postwar years, the material that -- more than her jukebox R&B hits -- catapulted her into the firmament of vocal stars along with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. It sets the story well, beginning with a few of her early blues hits, "Evil Gal Blues" and "Salty Papa Blues" (both recorded with Lionel Hampton). Soon after, however, it shows how Washington began recording older show tunes such as "Stairway to the Stars," "Embraceable You," "I Can't Get Started with You," and one of her career highlights, "Mad About the Boy." (Also appearing are a pair of her early crossovers into vocal pop, "Wheel of Fortune" and "Cold, Cold Heart.") Compared to other compilations that cover the same period, this one leaves out a few of her excellent R&B sides -- "A Slick Chick (On the Mellow Side)," "Wise Woman Blues" -- but nothing crucial is missing from this story of one of the most magnificent vocalists in jazz history.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:52
2 3:01
3 3:20
4 2:56
5 2:45
6 3:02
7 2:59
8 2:44
9 2:51
10 2:49
11 3:11
12
feat: Mitch Miller
2:42
13 2:26
14 2:52
15 2:29
16 3:02
17 2:29
18 2:44
19 2:45
20 2:51
21 3:21
22 2:52
23 3:22
24 3:05
25 2:17
26 2:50
27 3:01
blue highlight denotes track pick