Al Hibbler

Sings the Blues (Monday Everyday)

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Sings the Blues (Monday Everyday), though it was recorded just a few years after some of Al Hibbler's big hits (and not very late in his career), doesn't reflect very well in the light of Hibbler's glorious work. The blues was certainly within the range of the former Duke Ellington Orchestra band singer, and the choices certainly seemed good: "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," and "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home," among others. Unfortunately, Hibbler's gravelly vibrato and expressive delivery sound very limited compared to a few years before and downright hoarse on the opener ("Baby, Won't You Please Come Home"). He hits several high notes during "Laughing on the Outside," but sounds exhausted by the experience. Gerald Wilson's arrangements are warm and considerate, though an occasional vocal chorus is an annoyance every time it's heard. "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)" is really the only success on this disappointing date.

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