Friday, March 13, 2009

Lorez Alexandria - For Swingers Only (1963)

One of the greatest albums ever from Lorez Alexandria -- an ultra-hip singer who recorded for Impulse and King, but who sounds especially wonderful on this rare date for Chess Records! The album's got a groove that definitely lives up to its title -- a jazzy, bouncy sort of rhythm that's definitely "for swingers only", and which is a nice contrast to overdone torch or standard jazz vocal modes. Alexandria's singing is completely sublime -- quite fluid, yet with a soulful depth that's really amazing -- and her backing combo is equally hip -- a group led by John Young on piano, and also featuring George Eskirdge on guitar, Jimmy Garrison on bass, Phil Thomas on drums, and Ronald Wilson on flute and tenor -- an obscure player whose reed work really makes the album sparkle! The song choices are great too -- a mix of some under-recorded gems and a few blue-toned classics -- all redone amazingly by Lorez with a sound that's quite unique. Titles include her classic Argo reading of "Baltimore Oriole", which begins with an amazing drum/bass passage that's worth the price of the album alone -- and other tracks include "The End Of A Love Affair", "Baltimore Oriole", "All Or Nothing At All", "Mother Earth", "Love Look Away", and "Traveling Down A Lonely Road".

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Lorez Alexandria Last.Fm page - The AMG entry

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