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Various Artists – Six Queens Of Jazz Vocal (2016) [Esoteric Japan] (6x SACD Box Set) PS3 ISO + FLAC

VA – 6 Queens Of Jazz Vocal (2016) [Esoteric Japan] (6x SACD Box Set)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 227:38 minutes | Scans included | 10 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 5,43 GB

ESOTERIC Company proudly introduces a new series of Re-mastered Jazz Masterpiece Collection. The reissue of historical music masterpieces by ESOTERIC has attracted a lot of attention, both for its uncompromising commitment to recreating the original master sound, and for using SACD technology to improve sound quality. This Box Set of “Six Queens Of Jazz Vocal” features iconic releases of Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Carmen McRae, Helen Merrill, Monica Zetterlund, and Peggy Lee. Experience the legendary performance in this new format. Not only for new followers, but also for well experienced followers of these recorded materials. All will be equally impressed by the “soul” hidden within the notes, but never before found in previously released recordings in any format.

Disc 1: Ella Fitzgerald – Like Someone In Love (1957/2016)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 53:03 minutes | Scans included | 2,28 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,25 GB
Esoteric Japan # ESSO-90143

Ella Fitzgerald was accompanied by an orchestra arranged by Frank DeVol for this fine studio session. Most of the songs are veteran standards, Stan Getz’s warm tenor helps out on four tunes, and – although this is not an essential release – her voice was so strong and appealing during this era that all of her recordings from the mid- to late ’50s are enjoyable and easily recommended.


01. There’s A Lull In My Life
02. More Than You Know
03. What Will I Tell My Heart
04. I Never Had A Chance
05. Close Your Eyes
06. We’ll Be Together Again
07. Then I’ll Be Tired Of You
08. Like Someone In Love
09. Midnight Sun
10. I Thought About You
11. You’re Blase
12. Night Wind
13. What’s New
14. Hurry Home
15. How Long Has This Been Going On

Recorded on October 15 & 28, 1957 in Los Angeles, CA.

Ella Fitzgerald – vocals
Stan Getz – tenor saxophone
Ted Nash – alto saxophone
Frank DeVol – arranger, conductor

Disc 2: Anita O’Day – Anita Sings The Most (1957/2016)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 33:55 minutes | Scans included | 1,51 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 845 MB
Esoteric Japan # ESSO-90144

Anita O’Day recorded many rewarding albums in the 1950s when her voice was at its strongest, and this collaboration with the Oscar Peterson Quartet (comprised of pianist Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer John Poole) may very well be her best. Not only is the backup swinging, giving a Jazz at the Philharmonic feel to some of the songs, but O’Day proves that she could keep up with Peterson. “Them There Eyes” is taken successfully at a ridiculously fast tempo, yet the singer displays a great deal of warmth on such ballads as “We’ll Be Together Again” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.” While Peterson and Ellis have some solos, O’Day is never overshadowed (which is saying a lot) and is clearly inspired by their presence. The very brief playing time is unfortunate on this set, but the high quality definitely makes up for the lack of quantity. A gem.


01. ‘S Wonderful / They Can’t Take That Away From Me
02. Tenderly
03. Old Devil Moon
04. Love Me Or Leave Me
05. We’ll Be Together Again
06. Stella By Starlight
07. Taking A Chance On Love
08. Them There Eyes
09. I’ve Got The World On A String
10. You Turned The Tables On Me
11. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered

Recorded on January 31, 1957 in Chicago, IL.

Anita O’Day – vocals
Oscar Peterson – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – double bass
John Poole – drums
Milt Holland – drums

Disc 3: Carmen McRae – After Glow (1957/2016)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 38:50 minutes | Scans included | 1,7 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 907 MB
Esoteric Japan # ESSO-90145

Sublime early work from Carmen McRae – done with backing from pianist Ray Bryant in a small group setting! Carmen’s singing in a beautifully fragile mode – with only Ray’s piano and a bit of bass and drums to back her up – and it’s a real treat to her the McRae vocal approach in such an unfettered format, because even at this earlier age, Carmen had a sense of control, poise, and grace that shines through immediately.


01. I Can’t Escape From You
02. Guess Who I Saw Today
03. My Funny Valentine
04. The Little Things That Mean So Much
05. I’m Thru With Love
06. Nice Work If You Can Get It
07. East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon)
08. Exactly Like You
09. All My Life
10. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
11. Dream Of Life
12. Perdido (Lost)

Recorded on March 6 & 7, 1957 in New York City, NY.

Carmen McRae – vocals, piano on “1,4,8,12”
Ray Bryant, Ronnell Bright – piano
Ike Isaacs – double bass
Specs Wright – drums

Disc 4: Peggy Lee – Black Coffee (1956/2016)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 35:07 minutes | Scans included | 1,53 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 844 MB
Esoteric Japan # ESSO-90146

When originally recorded and released in 1953, Black Coffee was an eight-song catalog of 78s. Three years later, Decca commissioned an LP expansion of the record, for which Lee recorded several more songs.

Peggy Lee left Capitol in 1952 for, among several other reasons, the label’s refusal to let her record and release an exotic, tumultuous version of “Lover.” Lee was certainly no Mitch Miller songbird, content to loosen her gorgeous pipes on any piece of tripe foisted upon her; she was a superb songwriter with a knowledge of production and arrangement gained from work in big bands and from her husband, Dave Barbour (although the two weren’t together at the time). The more open-minded Decca acquiesced to her demand, and watched its investment pay off quickly when the single became her biggest hit in years. Black Coffee was Lee’s next major project. Encouraged by longtime Decca A&R Milt Gabler, she hired a small group including trumpeter Pete Candoli and pianist Jimmy Rowles (two of her favorite sidemen) to record an after-hours jazz project similar in intent and execution to Lee Wiley’s “Manhattan project” of 1950, Night in Manhattan. While the title-track opener of Black Coffee soon separated itself from the LP – to be taught forever after during the first period of any Torch Song 101 class – the album doesn’t keep to its concept very long; Lee is soon enough in a bouncy mood for “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and very affectionate on “Easy Living.” (If there’s a concept at work here, it’s the vagaries of love.) Listeners should look instead to “It Ain’t Necessarily So” or “Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good to You?” for more examples of Lee’s quintessentially slow-burn sultriness. Aside from occasionally straying off-concept, however, Black Coffee is an excellent record, spotlighting Lee’s ability to shine with every type of group and in any context.


01. Black Coffee
02. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
03. Easy Living
04. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
05. It Ain’t Necessarily So
06. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You
07. A Woman Alone With The Blues
08. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
09. (Ah, The Apple Trees) When The World Was Young
10. Love Me Or Leave Me
11. You’re My Thrill
12. There’s A Small Hotel

Recorded on April 30, May 1 & 4, 1953; and April 3, 1956 in New York City.

1953 sessions:
Peggy Lee – vocals
Pete Candoli – trumpet
Jimmy Rowles – piano
Max Wayne – double bass
Ed Shaughnessy – drums

1956 sessions:
Peggy Lee – vocals
Stella Castellucci – harp
Lou Levy – piano
Bill Pitman – guitar
Buddy Clark – bass
Larry Bunker – drums, vibraphone, percussion

Disc 5: Helen Merrill – Helen Merrill (1955/2016)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 33:01 minutes | Scans included | 1,46 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 848 MB
Esoteric Japan # ESSO-90147

Though she eventually came to be known as a “singer’s singer,” Helen Merrill’s 1954 debut is an unmitigated success of mainstream jazz. Besides introducing the uniquely talented young singer, the date also featured small-group arrangements by Quincy Jones and marks the introduction of another future star, trumpeter Clifford Brown. Formidable as his playing is, Brown never overshadows Merrill. She is fully up to the challenge on all fronts and enthusiastically tackles uptempo numbers such as “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” and “Falling in Love with Love” with aplomb. A winning stylistic combination of cool jazz and hard bop, Merrill particularly excels on Mel Tormé’s “Born to Be Blue,” making the sophisticated tune her own as she revels in Tormé’s down-and-out lyric.


01. Don’t Explain
02. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
03. What’s New
04. Falling In Love With Love
05. Yesterdays
06. Born To Be Blue
07. ‘S Wonderful

Recorded on December 22-24, 1954 in New York City.

Helen Merrill – vocals
Clifford Brown – trumpet
Danny Bank – bass clarinet, flute, baritone saxophone
Jimmy Jones – piano
Barry Galbraith – guitar
Milt Hinton – double bass (tracks 1,2,6-7)
Osie Johnson – drums (tracks 1,2,6-7)
Oscar Pettiford – cello, double bass (tracks 3-5)
Bobby Donaldson – drums (tracks 3-5)
Quincy Jones – arranger, conductor

Disc 6: Monica Zetterlund with Bill Evans – Waltz For Debby (1964/2016)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 33:42 minutes | Scans included | 1,49 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 837 MB
Esoteric Japan # ESSO-90148

An oddity in Bill Evans’ catalog, this 1964 date places the Swedish jazz vocalist Monica Zetterlund alongside the Evans Trio (with Chuck Israels on bass and Larry Bunker on drums). Still, the match is seemingly perfect. Evans’ lyricism is well suited to a breezy, sophisticated songstress like Zetterlund. There is an iciness on this recording, but it is difficult to decipher if it is in the performance or in the engineering where she seems to be way out in front of the band, when she was really in the middle of all the musicians in the studio. This is a minor complaint, however, as the tune selection and decorum of these sessions are quite lovely. From the opener “Come Rain or Come Shine” through the Swedish ballad “A Beautiful Rose” and the achingly gorgeous delivery of “Once Upon a Summertime,” it’s as if Zetterlund were destined to sing with Evans for a career instead of an album. For his part, Evans is very relaxed, allowing the lyrics to feed his musing on the simple, yet elegant harmonics. The Swedish version of “Waltz for Debbie” is a true delight because Zetterlund’s voice becomes another instrument, soloing over the top of Evans’ stunning selection of comping chords. In all this is an odd but special item, one that is necessary – for at least one listen – by any serious fan of the pianist and composer.


01. Come Rain Or Come Shine
02. Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa (A Beautiful Rose)
03. Once Upon A Summertime
04. So Long Big Time
05. Monicas Vals (Waltz For Debby)
06. Lucky To Be Me
07. Vindarna Sucka (Sorrow Wind)
08. It Could Happen To You
09. Some Other Time
10. Om Natten (In The Night)

Recorded on August 29, 1964 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Monica Zetterlund – vocals
Bill Evans – piano
Chuck Israels – bass
Larry Bunker – drums

ESOTERIC equipment used for re-mastering:
The criterion of re-mastering is to faithfully capture the quality of the original master. ESOTERIC’s flag ship D/A converters, model D-01VU, Rubidium master clock generator model G-0Rb and ESOTERIC MEXCEL interconnect cables and power cords, were all used for this re-mastering session. This combination of highly advanced technology greatly contributed to capturing the high quality sound of the original master.

Re-Issue Produced by Motoaki Ohmachi (ESOTERIC COMPANY)
Mastering Engineer: Kazuie Sugimoto (JVC Mastering Center)

ESSO-90143. Ella Fitzgerald – Like Someone In Love (1957)



ESSO-90144. Anita O’Day – Anita Sings The Most (1957)



ESSO-90145. Carmen McRae – After Glow (1957)



ESSO-90146. Peggy Lee – Black Coffee (1956)



ESSO-90147. Helen Merrill – Helen Merrill (1955)



ESSO-90148. Monica Zetterlund with Bill Evans – Waltz For Debby (1964)




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