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Friday, November 21, 2014

Lonely Girl - Julie London

Lonely Girl
Julie London with Al Viola, Guitar
Producer: Bobby Troup
Engineer: John Neal
Cover Photography: Ray Jones
Liberty LRP 3012

Available from the usual online vendors, so I will not be posting a sample. Shared because this album could be my favorite mid-50s vocal set. London was an amazing talent and this album features one of her most stunning covers. The set seems conceptually "risky" for a "pop" album (just London and Viola working together), but the results work so well and will engage you all the way through.

What makes the set even more amazing, by today's standards, is that the music was recorded before auto-tuning, and digital editing. This is just London and Viola making extremely soft, intimate music, perfect, with no editing.

From the back cover: It's remarkable when you realized that Julie has such a paradoxical appeal. She seems to capture everyone from the housewife to the severest jazz critic; from the rock-and-roll-loving teen ager to the modern-sound-craving college student. And this is the girl who sang professionally for the first time only a scant seven months ago! It's undeniable that Julie's voice is not a big voice. And she may have vocal coaches throwing their hands in the air as she defies many of their precious fundamentals. But the end result is something no vocal coach could ever teach. Warmth and heart and sensitivity are not to be learned from teachers.

Al Viola is responsible for the imaginative guitar accompaniment you hear behind Julie's voice. Just as Barney Kessel and Ray Leatherwood were such an important part of her first album, "Julie Is Her Name"; Al is certainly an integral part of the exciting mood created in "Lonely Girl". This may be one of the first times a gut-stringed Spanish guitar has been used in this way, and I think it makes for a tremendously interesting blend of voice and background. Al came to California via Brooklyn ten years ago and has progressed rapidly from he Page Cavanaugh Trio days to one of the most sought-after guitarists in Hollywood.

Lonely Girl
Fools Rush In
Moments Like This
I Lost My Sugar In Salt Lake City
It's The Talk Of The Town
What'll I Do
When Your Lover Has Gone
Don't Take Your Love From Me
Where Or When
All Alone
Mean To Me
How Deep Is The Ocean

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