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The Very Thought of You

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Album Review

Despite being on the scene since the 1950s as a singer, a drummer and an occasional alto sax player, this is just Della Griffin's third album. Similarities to Billie Holiday's Verve Records voice are unmistakable, particularly on those tunes most closely associated with Lady Day like "The Very Thought of You," "You Go to My Head," and "All of Me." But Griffin is not a Holiday clone: she brings her special interpretive qualities to this set of nine standards. She delivers an aching rendition of "This Bitter Earth" that holds up very well with Dinah Washington's seminal version. Griffin has extraordinary backing on this session. Houston Person brings all of his experience working with such singers as Ernie Andrews, Lou Rawls, and especially Etta Jones. His bluesy saxophone is a perfect foil for Griffin's husky, smoky voice. "All of Me" is a platform for Ray Drummond's lyrical bass playing. Kenny Washington's brushes stand out on this cut. David Braham, who is on one of Griffin's earlier recordings, is familiar with the Griffin singing style and his piano is accordingly sympathetic. Vinnie Corrao's clean, uncluttered guitar is very effective on "Yesterdays." It's been over six years between recording sessions for Della Griffin. Based on her performance on this album, there should be a shorter lapse of time before the next release. The sole complaint is the paucity of playing time, just a bit over 41 minutes.


Born: 06 December 1925 in Newberry, SC

Genre: Jazz

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

When her trumpeter brother-in-law gave Della Griffin a Billie Holiday record at the age of 11, it was the seed which eventually grew into a singing career. Griffin immediately reallocated her weekly allowance from paying for movies to buying all of Holiday's records, as well as records by Count Basie, Charlie Barnet, and other swinging big bands of the day. Griffin started singing professionally while still in South Carolina, performing at local clubs and dances. In the 1950s, she moved to New York...
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The Very Thought of You, Della Griffin
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