Frances Faye was a spirited middle-of-the-road pop/cabaret singer. During 1955-1957 she was one of Bethlehem's few non-jazz artists although being with that label resulted in her interacting with veteran jazz musicians. In 1957 when it looked like folk music was going to be the next big trend (it would be, but not until the early '60s), she recorded a set of traditional melodies while accompanied by brass and string orchestra arranged by Russ Garcia that included West Coast jazz players (including Maynard Ferguson, Don Fagerquist, and Frank Rosolino). Faye was not the most subtle of singers but she sounds quite expressive on such numbers as "Frankie and Johnny," "St. James Infirmary," "John Henry," a variety of ancient folk songs, and even "Clementine." Five previously unreleased alternate takes round out this intriguing program.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow