Ann Richards

Two Much

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Ann Richards never received the same acclamation as her more famous vocal predecessors with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Anita O'Day, June Christy, and Chris Connor. While these three went on to carve out successful careers as singles, Richards, after her divorce from Kenton, slowly sank into obscurity. With a style closer in style to O'Day's, Richards could swing out a tune with the best of them and could scat with vim and verve. She demonstrates these talents on "It's a Wonderful World" and "All or Nothing at All." She could also credibly deliver on blues tunes as on "The Morning After (The Night Before)." Richards could move to a lower range and get torchy, which she does on "My Kinda Love." Then she slow-drags "I Got Rhythm," riding atop the doleful tones of the trombone section and a muted trumpet. While he didn't have the big names that peppered earlier bands, this Kenton group could swing and play as a cohesive group. Like all Kenton bands, it featured the high note blaring trumpet. Here it's Bud Brisbois that supplied the upper atmospheric notes on the horn. There are a couple of selections where Richards is backed by just a small group, as on "No Moon at All," where she doesn't have to compete with the larger aggregation, showing off her voice to its full advantage. With a slim discography, this album is an important contribution to the legacy of a good singer whose career was far too short.

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