Two former LPs are combined on this single CD. The subtle but always swinging singer Maxine Sullivan is heard on a very pleasing 1983 session in which she is joined by trumpeter Doc Cheatham (who sounds quite lyrical), the underrated clarinetist Herb Hall, pianist Red Richards, bassist Ike Isaacs and drummer Tom Martin. But good as that date is, it is the first half of this CD that is most memorable. Sullivan sounds exuberant while being inspired by the great cornetist Ernie Carson, Spencer Clark on baritone, pianist Art Hodes, bassist Johnny Haynes and drummer Martin. Carson takes many heated solos; Hodes is often rollicking, and Sullivan's voice is heard throughout in prime form -- she even takes a valve trombone solo on one song. Highlights include definitive versions of "We Just Couldn't say Goodbye," "Someday Sweetheart," "That Old Feeling" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." In addition, there is a previously unreleased version of "It's the Talk of the Town" from Feb. 8, 1978, a very spontaneous performance with Hodes' band during an otherwise instrumental session. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow