180 gram vinyl LP in Gatefold packaging
Although she never gained the same kind of popularity as her colleagues Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan, Helen Merrill is considered among jazz cognoscenti to be one of the best singers in the genre’s history.
The LP presented here, originally titled "Helen Merrill", was her debut studio album. It showcases the singer backed by an all-star group that included the legendary trumpeter Clifford Brown. After Brown’s tragic death in a car accident in 1956 at the age of 25, all recorded works of this instrumental genius became highly priced, and so Merrill’s album would be successively reissued adding his name on the cover. Scott Yanow gave the LP a four-and-a-half star rating on All Music Guide, stating that, “Every recording by the short-lived trumpeter Clifford Brown is worth exploring, including his date with Helen Merrill. Trumpeter Brown is joined by Danny Bank on flute, and a four-piece rhythm section including pianist Jimmy Jones and guitarist Barry Galbraith. Quincy Jones provided the arrangements. The music is essentially straight-ahead bop, yet the seven standards are uplifted by the presence of Merrill (in top form) and Brown.”
HELEN MERRILL, vocals
CLIFFORD BROWN, trumpet
DANNY BANK, flute (out on A3 & B1)
JIMMY JONES, piano
BARRY GALBRAITH, guitar.
MILT HINTON, bass (on A1-A2, & B2-B3)
OSCAR PETTIFORD, bass (on A3 & B1) & cello (on A4)
OSIE JOHNSON, drums (on A1-A2, & B2-B3)
BOBBY DONALDSON, drums (on A3-A4 & B1)
New York, December 22 (A1, A2, B2 & B3) & December 24 (A3, A4 & B1), 1954.
01 DON’T EXPLAIN
02 YOU’D BE SO NICE TO COME HOME TO
03 WHAT’S NEW
04 FALLING IN LOVE WITH LOVE
02 BORN TO BE BLUE
03 ‘S WONDERFUL
04 DEARLY BELOVED