It might strike as a paradox, but sometimes the brilliance of certain inventions can be measured by how obvious, how commonplace they seem. The music of Venezuelan pianist Silvano Monasterios is so easy-on-the-ear, so elegantly structured, and has such a casual, lived-in feel that it takes a bit to catch on to how sophisticated his work truly is. It's only after awhile that one notices the harmonic turns, the storytelling soloing, or his rhythmic vocabulary, especially his discreet use of traditional Venezuelan styles. Partly Sunny is Monasterios' second album for Savant, and his choices suggest that he feels no need to accommodate any conventional expectations about how Latin jazz should sound.
This compilation has all of the music formerly on singer June Christy's two 1957 Capitol LPs, Fair and Warmer! and Gone for the Day, both of which have Pete Rugolo arrangements. The former set (which is actually programmed second) finds Christy joined by a 12-piece group of mostly West Coast all-stars. The backup players include trumpeter Don Fagerquist, trombonist Frank Rosolino, altoist Bud Shank, and Bob Cooper on tenor, but they are mostly restricted to short statements. Christy is in excellent form on such numbers as a definitive (but very brief) "I Want to Be Happy," "When Sunny Gets Blue," and "It's Always You." Three different groups are used on the Gone for the Day set, two of which have string sections, while the other uses five trombones.