An excellent budget compilation of the wonderful Bethlehem Records label - what a roster of artists they had. Very good sound too. The Bethlehem label focused on jazz releases, and this set collects some great examples of jazz–vocally and instrumentally–between the years 1958-62. One look at the artists on this 60 track 2 CD set shows how many fine artists released music on the label. Like other collections from One Day Music, there's no booklet, only a short paragraph about the label and a few of the featured artists. The digitally remastered sound is good overall within the limits of recording styles of the era.
Member groups Poco, Eagles. Randy Meisner's "new" album from Rev-Ola is a fanatic's rarities-only collection of tunes recorded as either unreleased demos or finished demos for stuff from his other records of the late '70s, the '80s, and the early '90s. The liner notes by Joey Stec are nothing more than hero worship, the sonics on these things are substandard, and most of the material sounds very dated and unfinished. The press material claims that Spencer Davis, James Griffin of Bread, Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf, Billy Swan, and Charlie Rich Jr. are all present here, and it's not necessarily to be doubted, but it would be nice to know where (as well as who some of the backing vocalists were, since they sound so very familiar).
Laura Mvula uncovers the influence of Nina Simone’s classical training in her version of Love Me or Leave Me. Laura Mvula illustrates the contrapuntal classical piano technique that Nina Simone puts to good use in her version of Love Me or Leave Me.
In 1920's Chicago, Ruth Etting wants to be a renowned singer, which is a far step away from her current work as a taxi dancer. Upon walking into the dance hall and seeing her, Chicago gangster Marty Snyder immediately falls for Ruth, and works toward being her lover, which he believes he can achieve by opening up singing opportunities for her. Ruth is initially wary of Marty, but makes it clear that she is not interested in him in a romantic sense.
Barbara Russell was a singer with a vibrant, arresting vocal quality, a fine sense of phrasing and feel for a lyric, and an utterly captivating style. She was also a tall, willowy blonde, a commanding presence and a “star” in every respect. It made for a performer capable of holding an audience from the first note and maintaining the interest and excitement throughout the entire performance. Her jazz-influenced style runs the gamut from warm, intimate ballads to the swinging up tempo tunes, as she demonstrated in these two albums recorded for United Artists between 1960 and 1962. She treated each song with respect, and the Don Costa arrangements…