Lucy Reed – This Is Lucy Reed (1957/2001)

Lucy Reed - This Is Lucy Reed (1957/2001)
Artist: Lucy Reed
Album: This Is Lucy Reed
Genre: Vocal Jazz
Origin: USA
Released: 1957/2001
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

There He Goes (2:54)
Lucky To Be Me (2:32)
(In The) Wee Small Hours (Of The Morning) (4:23)
St. Louis Blues (3:29)
Easy Come, Easy Go (5:00)
Love For Sale (4:31)
Little Boy Blue (2:58)
A Trout, No Doubt (2:41)
Born To Blow The Blues (4:45)
This Is New (4:00)
No Moon At All (2:18)
You Don’t Know What Love Is (4:03)


In a perfect world, Lucy Reed would have been much better-known and would have built a large catalog. But regrettably, the obscure Midwestern jazz singer never became well-known, and she only recorded a few albums. Recorded at various sessions in January 1957, This Is Lucy Reed is the second of two albums she provided for Fantasy. This album, which Fantasy reissued on CD in 2001, finds Reed backed by some of bop’s heavyweights, including trumpeter Art Farmer, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, bassist Milt Hinton, arranger George Russell (who is heard on drums), and arranger Gil Evans (who plays piano on four selections). Unfortunately, the sidemen usually don’t get enough solo space. But Reed’s vocals are the main thing, and the singer really shines on cool-toned yet expressive performances of well-known standards like “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues.” Cool School goddesses like Chris Connor and June Christy are prominent influences, and yet, the recognizable Reed was a fine singer in her own right. The word “recognizable” also describes Gil Evans’ arranging on “Love for Sale,” “No Moon at All,” and the goofy novelty item “A Trout, No Doubt”; Evans’ classical-influenced style of arranging is quite distinctive, and true to form, his contributions to This Is Lucy Reed underscore his interest in European classical music. Equally attractive are Russell’s arrangements on “Born to Blow the Blues,” “This Is New,” and “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” Russell was only 34 when this album was recorded, but even in early 1957, he was a forward thinker. Anyone who is seriously into Cool School singers of the 1950s should give This Is Lucy Reed a very close listen.
Review by Alex Henderson

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