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Jo Stafford: Jo+Jazz LP

Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:33 am

Jo Stafford seems to be pretty much forgotten these days when compared to the other singers of her ilk such as Peggy Lee, Doris Day etc. But there is much to enjoy in Stafford's silky smooth, pitch perfect vocals. She made some really fine LPs during the later stages of her recording career, the best of which was probably Jo+Jazz arranged by the great Johnny Mandel. The truth is that the vocals on the twelve tracks on the album aren't really much more jazzy than any number she had recorded in the past. The jazz link is keenly felt within the musicians she surrounded herself with, such as Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges and Don Fagerquist. The current CD edition from Corinthian is bare-bones to say the least, with not even a booklet, but the sound is pretty good - and one gets to wallow in wonderful sensual vocals such as this one on Midnight Sun - and who else but Johnny Mercer could rhyme "red and ruby chalice", "alabaster palace" and "aurora borealis"? They knew how to write songs back then.

Re: Jo Stafford: Jo+Jazz LP

Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:13 am

Jo Stafford was a gorgeous vocalist -- Jo+Jazz really is a marvellous album. I'm also fond of her earlier solo albums and recordings, and her work with The Pied Pipers. Sinatra wasn't the only great vocalist taking the stage with Tommy Dorsey in the early forties. Autumn in New York may be my favourite of her albums, although Jo+Jazz runs a close call alongside.

Re: Jo Stafford: Jo+Jazz LP

Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:09 pm

I never liked Autumn In New York much, or Starring Jo Stafford, that it was paired with on CD. I very much like Once Over Lightly, however. I was rather miffed that my Japanese CD of this got lost in a move, but there is a PD release of it from Hallmark which is (surprisingly) of rather good quality.