Warning! This is not an album for jazz purists. But it is the album that took Miss Washington from a relatively unknown blues singer and catapulted her to fame in America, becoming her first long player to make the Billboard charts (No.34 and 22 weeks on the chart). The orchestral settings by Belford Hendicks are by no means ground breaking, yet there’s no keeping a great voice down and Dinah glides across the shimmering strings with her dexterous vocals.
Although most of the orchestra are unidentified it does include pianist Joe Zawinul who had been in Maynard Ferguson’s band and would later co-found Weather Report along with the unmistakeable sound of Kenny Burrell on guitar. The, like just about every musician who worked with her respected her talent and professionalism, along, it’s been said, with an ear so keen that she could, she said, hear grass grow.
Recorded in July and August 1959, and produced by Clyde Otis, among the tracks are, I Thought About You, Cry Me A River, What A Diff’rence A Day Makes, Manhattan, Time After Time and A Sunday Kind of Love. Was it her best album? We would probably go for Dinah Jams or In The Land of Hi-Fi. How about you? But there is no denying that this helped bring the Divine Miss D. to a far wider audience, and that’s no bad thing,
“I lead with my heart all the time.” – Dinah Washington