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Centennial Celebration: Johnny Mercer

Various Artists

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iTunes Review

Whether or not you know Johnny Mercer's name, you’ve heard some of the songs he co-wrote: “Moon River,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Skylark,” and the list goes on and on. The Savannah, Georgia native frequently wrote for the movies and the stage, but he also collaborated with great jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington (“Satin Doll”) and Lionel Hampton (“Midnight Sun”). This collection includes 13 versions of Mercer classics and the older recordings are particularly strong. The album opens with a lovely Chet Baker rendition of “I’m Old Fashioned,” which was composed by Mercer and Jerome Kern. “Trav’lin’ Light” features Etta Jones, whose vocals recall Billie Holiday, doing a fine job on the bluesy piece. (It turns out that Mercer originally wrote the song for Holiday.) Pianist Bill Evans and singer Tony Bennett bring their magic touch to a version of “Days and Wine and Roses,” which was co-penned by Henry Mancini. And backed by a top-notch band that includes Pepper Adams on baritone sax, the powerful singer Jimmy Witherspoon turns in a strong take on Harold Arlen’s “Blues in the Night.”

Customer Reviews

Skylark Hunt

Been on a search for wonderful recordings of Skylark. Tierney Sutton's is great. Also found one on a new release by Sarah Partridge. And of course the old recordings of Ella, Sass......terrific. Looking forward to hearing the rest of this CD.

On The Atchison, Topeca and .......

So sexy, soft and gentle.............just the way I like my JAZZ

Centennial Celebration: Johnny Mercer
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Nov 03, 2009

Customer Ratings