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Nancy Wilson & Friends

Nancy Wilson

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Album Review

It seems a little bit strange that an artist of Nancy Wilson's popularity and experience — she's recorded more than 60 albums in various genres over the course of a 40-year career — would never have made a Christmas album. But this is indeed her first, and it's as sweet-spirited and gently eclectic as you'd expect. Joined on several tracks by the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Allstar Big Band and on others by the vocal quartet New York Voices, flutist Herbie Mann, and various other guest artists, Wilson takes highly predictable elements and creates an original and multifaceted pastiche out of them. From the bossa nova rendition of "White Christmas" to the dense vocal arrangements on "Silver Bells," Wilson manages to keep things both interesting and fun. The fact that her voice remains as powerful and nuanced as ever doesn't hurt, either.

Biography

Born: 20 February 1937 in Chillicothe, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Diva Nancy Wilson was among contemporary music's most stylish and sultry vocalists; while often crossing over into the pop and R&B markets — and even hosting her own television variety program — she remained best known as a jazz performer, renowned for her work alongside figures including Cannonball Adderley and George Shearing. Born February 20, 1937, in Chillicothe, OH, Wilson first attracted notice performing the club circuit in nearby Columbus; she quickly earned a growing reputation...
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