Wild, Cool and Swingin' compiles 22 songs from several of the many albums she made for the Liberty label from 1957 though 1966. Most of the selections link London with obviously good but mostly unidentified studio players, as well as with excellently arranged material that is unencumbered, for the most part, by syrupy string ensemble playing. Her 1960 recording of "Black Coffee" compares well with the slinky Peggy Lee and soulful Carmen McRae versions of this tune. Andre Previn is with her for a very Billy May-like arrangement of "Makin' Whoopee." A fine guitar player is present on "`Tain't What You Do (It's the Way That Cha Do It)," and a sax player sounding much like Plas Johnson sets the tone for a powerful rendition of "Night Life." London is appropriately sensuous on "Come on-A My House" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." The vocalist also proves she can get down with the blues on "Watermelon Man," where she is backed by an orchestra led by Gerald Wilson, along with a down and dirty organ. "Daddy" finds her in the company of Jimmy Rowles along with a hot fiddle. Ernie Freeman, who has backed many a singer, is represented on several of the tracks. His ability to write arrangements which enhance the special qualities of the vocalists is evident on such tunes as "Wives and Lovers." Given the songs compiled for this release, it's clear that the producers wanted to show that there is something more to London's warbling than romantic ballads backed with string orchestras, playing stock arrangements. For both Julie London fans as well as those who appreciate good vocals of well-arranged tunes, this album is recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan