Marvin Gaye

When I'm Alone I Cry

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Hard as it may be to believe today, at the beginning of his career, Gaye was far more interested in crooning jazz standards than singing soul music, and took every opportunity to vent his jazz pipes in the studio. However much he may have wished otherwise, just about every listener agrees that he was a great soul singer, but a mediocre jazz vocalist. This album, cut at a time when he was already a rising soul star, consists of ten pop-jazz standards and is really only of interest to collectors. Certainly it's competently done, but it's supper-club fare, in which Gaye comes off as a sub-Nat King Cole rather than his own man.

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