03/10/2011

Julie Is Her Name

Julie London
1955

This is even more minimal than Black Coffee - just Julie, a guitarist (the legendary Barney Kessel) and a bassist (Ray Leatherwood). The tempo is equally downbeat, but for some reason this doesn't sound as smoky and late-night sultry as Peggy Lee's album.  It's still beautifully evocative of its era though, with a lovely romantic feel - like the aural equivalent of a soft focus lens.

The first song is the classic "Cry Me A River", which would justify the purchase of this album alone.  The rest of the songs are mostly standards, and my favourites are "It Never Entered My Mind" and "I'm In The Mood For Love".  The occasional forays into more up-tempo numbers are less convincing, because they highlight Julie's limited range and power as a singer.

Overall, I found this to be a bit backgroundy-muzak, which is a shame in some respects because it is worth listening to carefully.

This came on a CD with Julie Is Her Name Vol II (1958), an album in exactly the same style and equally pleasant.

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