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Queen: The Music of Dinah Washington

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Album Review

The 2004 Verve release Queen: The Music of Dinah Washington was compiled by Nadine Cohodas to coincide with her biography of the troubled singer. For a performer with such a large discography, these 12 tracks don't even begin to scratch the surface, but it gives a good idea of the eclectic nature of her material waxed between 1946 and 1961 for the Mercury label. These cuts equally sample Dinah's embrace of R&B, traditional blues, sappy string sections, and Broadway tunes, while swinging with cozy small combos or fronting large orchestras led by Hal Mooney, Teddy Stewart, Tab Smith, and Quincy Jones and featuring a plethora of high profile soloists. For novices or casual fans, the disc isn't a bad way to become acquainted with her Mercury recordings; however, it contains nothing for aficionados.


Born: 29 August 1924 in Tuscaloosa, AL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

Dinah Washington was at once one of the most beloved and controversial singers of the mid-20th century -- beloved to her fans, devotees, and fellow singers; controversial to critics who still accuse her of selling out her art to commerce and bad taste. Her principal sin, apparently, was to cultivate a distinctive vocal style that was at home in all kinds of music, be it R&B, blues, jazz, middle of the road pop -- and she probably would have made a fine gospel or country singer had she the time. Hers...
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Queen: The Music of Dinah Washington, Dinah Washington
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