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What a Difference a Day Makes (Remastered)

Dinah Washington

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Album Review

This European import CD is without annotations, which makes the exact source of the tracks difficult to determine, but they must be Mercury recordings from the 1950s and early '60s. In any case, the set begins with Dinah Washington the pop singer, leading off with her rendition of the title song (actually "What A Difference A Day Makes") and continuing with "Unforgettable," another pop hit. Thereafter, she takes on a series of standards including "Pennies From Heaven," "I Get A Kick Out Of You," and "Teach Me Tonight," on some of them accompanied by blaring orchestras and harmonizing backup singers and on others by smaller ensembles with long breaks for jazzy solos. Jazz fans will blanch at the combining of the two styles, yet Washington proves an effective performer in either context, with her clear articulation and precise note placement. The truth is that Washington was a multiple threat who didn't sing very differently despite the instrumental background, and even in this bare-bones presentation, she impresses.


Born: August 29, 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...
Full Bio

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