Irene Reid

Room for One More

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Room for One More pairs singer Irene Reid with arranger Oliver Nelson and a sprawling who's who of session players including Thad Jones, Charlie Mariano, Kenny Burrell, Phil Woods, and J.J. Johnson. The title's more than a bit tongue in cheek, of course, but given the stature of her collaborators, Reid no doubt felt some pressure to prove herself worthy of occupying the same studio space, let alone to claim top billing, but she does so admirably, rendering classics like "Save Your Love for Me" and "I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone" with extraordinary emotional potency. Although best suited for ballads, most notably a breathtaking reading of "Who Can I Turn To?," Reid is such a nimble stylist that even a throwaway number like the Bewitched theme still makes its mark. Nelson's spacious arrangements are sublime, and it almost goes without saying that the band is exemplary. In short, a wonderful if little-known LP in desperate need of reissue.

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