June Christy's Something Cool, originally released as a 10" LP in 1954, single-handedly inaugurated the cool jazz vocal movement. Christy had been a star vocalist with the Stan Kenton Orchestra in the late '40s, enjoying major hits with "Tampico" and "Shoo Fly Pie & Apple Pan Dowdy." Soon after she left the band, she began working with key Kenton arranger Pete Rugolo and a slew of top West Coast studio musicians (including her husband, tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper) on her first solo album for Capitol Records. The result was Something Cool, which is both a winning showcase for Christy's wistful style and a landmark of cool jazz modernism. From the start, Christy established herself as an artist who strove for the very best in song selection, arrangements, and notably intelligent interpretation. There were perhaps other vocalists with greater vocal equipment, but few could match June Christy's artistic integrity. The celebrated title track is the soliloquy of a female barfly of a certain age, reminiscing (and fantasizing) about better days to a fellow male patron who just might buy her another drink. It immediately became Christy's signature performance, and remained so throughout her career. Other highlights include a swinging "It Could Happen to You," "Midnight Sun," and an ambitious arrangement of Kurt Weill's "Lonely House."
Something Cool Review
by Richard Mortifoglio