I think you are mellowing with age 😊. Surprised that you are not raking the reviewer over the coals for daring to say anything negative about icons like Duke and Ella. IMO, the reviewer is only half correct and is conflating a couple of different issues. I agree with him that “the band (is) unable to settle into a smooth delivery of its section work due to an improbably fast rhythm from the bass and drums." On “Cottontail” the saxes sound a little ragged and the trombones get very behind the beat at one point. However, it really wasn’t all that bad and why is he suggesting that Ella is the culprit in any way? She swings her as& off. In fact it is Paul Gonsalves who almost can’t keep up with her amazing scatting. Only singer who I can enjoy listening to scatting for an extended period.
**** Where’s Sassy? We always give reader’s poll all the respect they deserve..****
Easy one, but takes a little digging.
Nominations and winners of DB’s readers poll are, if not entirely, mostly influenced by the artists’ recent work.
The year is 1966.
- In 1965 Ella released “Ella At Duke’s Place (With Duke Ellington)“
Remember, not only is Duke king, he was slated to win in the big band category with twice as many votes as Basie.
- In 1966 itself she released “Whisper Not”. One of her most popular and a record of mostly Jazz standards.
- Between 1964 and 1966 Nancy Wilson released eight (!!!) records including some of her most popular. All in her stylistic “comfort zone”.
- In 1964 she released “Lonely Hours” and “Vaughn With Voices”
- In 1965 she released “Viva! Vaughn” and “The Mancini Songbook”
- In 1966 she released “The Pop Artistry of Sarah Vaughn” and “The New Scene”
None of them were exactly serious swinging Jazz records. Even our beloved Sassy had her forays into “Lite” fare and Pop land.