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Etta JONES – Dont Talk To Strangers 1960

Posted in Etta JONES, JAZZ on December 6, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Etta JONES – Dont Talk To Strangers 1960
Prestige 7186


Rather than the yellowish or golden cover of the previous edition, this one is magenta (?), and the audio has been somewhat “enhanced” for the sake of present-day tastes. Otherwise, there’s no difference between the 1991 release (which is still in print) and this 2006 RVG remaster–which is a good thing, since where matters of perfection are concerned, no improvements should be necessary. In fact, if this one isn’t in your top five female jazz recordings of all time, you may need to reconsider your desert-island necessities.

Frankly, I was hoping Rudy might be able to lighten up just slightly on the reverb for this edition, but no such luck. Instead, the mastering is predictable (more bass to suit present-day preferences) and appears to have been subjected to some curious tampering of the sound of the drums, causing the hi-hat and snare to be crisp and clear on some choruses and all but inaudible on others. I don’t recall such an in-and-out problem with the drums on the previous issue of the date. Whichever edition you pick up, you can’t go wrong. This recording, the most commercially successful release by the underrated vocalist, is as essential to any fan of female jazz singers as it is to those who already have some of Etta’s other work.
By  Samuel Chell.
Don’t Go to Strangers was Etta Jones’ first album for the independent jazz label Prestige when it was released in 1960 (having been recorded in a single session on June 21 of that year), and although Jones had been releasing records since 1944, including a dozen sides for RCA in 1946 and an album for King Records in 1957, she was treated as an overnight sensation when the title tune from the album went gold, hitting the Top 40 on the pop charts and reaching number five on the R&B charts. An elegant ballad on an album that had several of them, including the masterful “If I Had You” and a marvelous reading of “All the Way,” a song usually identified with Frank Sinatra, “Don’t Go to Strangers” featured Jones’ airy, bluesy phrasing and uncanny sense of spacing, and was very much a jazz performance, making its success on the pop charts all the more amazing. Listen to Jones’ restructuring of the melody to the opening track, the old chestnut “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby,” to hear a gifted jazz singer sliding and shifting the tone center of a song like a veteran horn player, all the while leaving the melody still recognizable, but refreshing it until it stands revealed anew. Apparently there were no additional tracks cut at the session, since bonus material has never surfaced on any of the album’s subsequent reissues, although that’s hardly a problem, because as is, Don’t Go to Strangers is a perfect gem of a recording.
By Steve Leggett. AMG.
Etta Jones- (Vocals)
Frank Wess- (Tenor Sax, Flute)
Robert Wyands- (Piano)
Skeeter Best- (Guitar)
George Duvivier- (Bass)
Roy Haynes (Drums)
A1. Yes Sir, That’s My Baby 4:20
A2. Don’t Go To Strangers 3:48
A3. I Love Paris 3:59
A4. Fine And Mellow 5:49
A5. Where Or When 3:38
B1. If I Had You 3:48
B2. On The Street Where You Live 3:42
B3. Something To Remember You By 3:42
B4. Bye Bye Blackbird 3:14
B5. All The Way 4:39

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