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The Best of Etta Jones: The Prestige Singles (Remastered)

Etta Jones

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Album Review

While Etta Jones could not be placed into the very top tier of jazz singers, she was a good one. And as this compilation draws 18 tracks from the most commercially and artistically successful phase of her career, it might be the best place to start for hearing her work. Recorded between 1960 and 1963, these did all happen to be released on singles, as the title indicates, though it's sometimes forgotten that there were still jazz tracks being issued as singles in the 1960s. Of course, the most popular of those was "Don't Go to Strangers," which actually made the pop Top 40 in 1960. Jones was a warm and versatile singer with a bit more appeal to pop listeners than most, usually backed by good small combos on this mixture of ballads and up-tempo material, though Oliver Nelson arranged and conducted the strings on a most adventurous, eccentric "Unchained Melody." More satisfying than the ballads, though, are the sassier, faster, and slightly bluesier outings, like "You Came a Long Way From St. Louis," "In the Dark," the sultry "The Gal From Joe's," and (again with Nelson's strings) "Just Friends." The cha cha pass at "Nature Boy" is good, too, with Kenny Burrell handling one of the guitars.

Customer Reviews

2 Thumbs Up on Ballads

Totally disagree with posted synopsis on this album. Etta Jones best, by far, are her ballads. Up-tempo songs sound out of synch for her style. 4.5 stars for ballads, 2 for faster songs.

Great Ballads!

I first heard Etta more years ago than I care to remember on a New York jazz station that is now defunct. She was singing "Gonna Lock My Heart and Throw Away the Key". It became, and still is, one of my favorite songs especially when you are angry about a relationship break up or the world has got you down. She sings it like she means it and commiserates with you! If you want to get into Etta start there, with that song, and you'll fall in love with her. I did.

Don't miss...!

Be sure to listen to, "All the Way." In my opinion, it is one of the best renditions of that song ever recorded.

Biography

Born: November 25, 1928 in Aiken, SC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An understated, dynamic singer within jazz and popular standards, Etta Jones was an excellent singer always worth hearing. She grew up in New York and at 16, toured with Buddy Johnson. She debuted on record with Barney Bigard's pickup band (1944) for Black & White, singing four Leonard Feather songs, three of which (including "Evil Gal Blues") were hits for Dinah Washington. She recorded other songs during 1946-1947 for RCA and worked with Earl Hines (1949-1952). Jones' version of "Don't Go to...
Full Bio
The Best of Etta Jones: The Prestige Singles (Remastered), Etta Jones
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