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Helen Merrill – Dream Of You (1957/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Helen Merrill – Dream Of You (1957/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 58:20 minutes | 567 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © RevOla

“Dream of You”, the third studio album by Helen Merrill, was arranged and conducted by Gil Evans. This recording immediately preceded the first of Evans’ famous albums with Miles Davis, “Miles Ahead”. In 1987, Merrill and Evans reunited to record new versions of the same songs for the album Collaboration. This reissue of “Dream of You” includes additional tracks.

One thing that set Helen Merrill apart from other ’50s jazz singers was her acutely dramatic vocal style. Her earnest phrasing, elongated notes, and incandescent tone might even strike the contemporary listener as qualities more appropriate for the Broadway stage than a jazz club. On 1955’s Dream of You, though, Merrill found reconciliation, sounding both melodramatic and swinging within Gil Evans’ darkly spacious, yet economical arrangements. Suitably, torchy ballads are prominent. On the somewhat grandiose side there’s “Where Flamingos Fly” and “I’m a Fool to Want You,” which find Merrill in a pensive mood amidst a variety of tempo and timbre shifts. More subdued ground is covered on “I’ve Never Seen” and “He Was Too Good to Me.” Briskly swinging numbers like “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “By Myself,” and “You’re Lucky to Me” balance the program and feature the demure, yet fluid delivery Merrill favored on fast numbers. What is most impressive on this date is a group of sultry, medium tempo numbers including “Anyplace I Lay My Hat Is Home,” “Just a Lucky So and So,” and in particular “A New Town Is a Blue Town.” The programmatic quality of Merrill’s coyly sensual voice and Evans’ slightly askew, bubbling reeds and languid rhythm conjure up dramatic, balmy southern scenes á la Tennessee Williams. In the picturesque arrangements one also hears the seeds of Evans’ own future collaborations with Miles Davis. Even though her collaborations with Clifford Brown and others are great recordings, this one with Gil Evans shows off more of Merrill’s expressive vocal talents, due in no small part to the sympathetic and urbane arrangements.


01 – People Will Say We’re In Love
02 – Alone Together (Version 1)
03 – By Myself
04 – Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home
05 – I’ve Never Seen
06 – He Was Too Good To Me
07 – A New Town Is A Blue Town
08 – How’s The World Treating You? (Version 1)
09 – You’re Lucky To Me
10 – Where Flamingos Fly
11 – Dream Of You
12 – I’m A Fool To Want You
13 – I’m Just A Lucky So And So
14 – Troubled Waters
15 – Alone Together (Version 2)
16 – Glad To Be Unhappy
17 – This Is My Night To Cry
18 – How’s The World Treating You? (Version 2)

Conducted & Arranged by Gil Evans. Produced by Bob Shad.
Recorded on July 26, 1956 – February 27, 1957 in New York.

Helen Merrill – vocals
John LaPorta – clarinet, alto saxophone
Jerome Richardson – flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Danny Bank – baritone saxophone
Art Farmer – trumpet
Louis Mucci – trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland – trombone
Joe Bennett – trombone
Hank Jones – piano
Janet Putnam – harp
Barry Galbraith – guitar
Oscar Pettiford – double bass
Joe Morello – drums


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