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The Jazz Sessions: The Best of June Christy

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Album Review

With her cool, emotive, and slightly husky voice, June Christy not only helped carry on the hit-making ways of big band singers from the '40s, but also found a niche with a young audience captivated by the dreamy, vocal harmony side of rock & roll. Replacing Anita O'Day as Stan Kenton's "girl singer," Christy herself became a mover during the jazz-pop heyday of the immediate post-war years. Graduating from Kenton's band in 1952, Christy went on to release classic solo albums like Something Cool, The Misty Miss Christy, and June Christy Recalls Those Kenton Days. Although her career for the most part ended by 1962, Christy's legacy stands with her many incredible Capitol sides. This early best-of roundup proves the point with a wealth of top-notch performances. Aided by fellow Kenton veterans like arranger Pete Rugolo and tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper, Christy particularly shines on "Midnight Sun," "Willow Weep for Me," and "Sing Something Simple." Whether in dramatic ballad mode or buoyed by a swinging West Coast arrangement, Christy handles the varied terrain with aplomb. Other highlights include the Kenton duet "Bewitched," her defining "Something Cool" side, and big band throwbacks like "Just Sittin' and A-Rockin'." A perfect introduction for the June Christy newcomer.


Born: November 20, 1925 in Springfield, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Though she was the epitome of the vocal cool movement of the 1950s, June Christy was a warm, chipper vocalist able to stretch out her impressive voice on bouncy swing tunes and set herself apart from other vocalists with her deceptively simple enunciation. From her time in Stan Kenton's Orchestra, she inherited a focus on brassy swing from arranger friends like Pete Rugolo. Rugolo would become a consistent companion far into her solo days, too, arranging most of her LPs and balancing her gymnastic...
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The Jazz Sessions: The Best of June Christy, June Christy
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