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Sunday, December 8, 2019

This One's For Me Damita Jo

I'm A Fool To Want You
This One's For Me
Damita Jo
Mercury Wing STEREO / WC 16333

From the back cover: "This one's for me. This will be the real me." With these straightforward, unequivocal remarks, Damita Jo set the theme for this album, when she first met with Mercury artist and repertoire director Quincy Jones to discuss its contents.

"I've got loads of songs that I want to sing only because I love them," she continued. "This may wind up being a crazy-quilt album since they are all different and there is no one idea to tie them together. I may sound emotional about this, but they're great old standards and I dig them. This is one album that will truly be mine."

Mr. Jones smiled and capitulated without a murmur of dessert. It was just what he was aiming for. One of the great musical arrangers in the business, an old friend of Damita's and an ardent admirer of hers, he knew she meant every word she said, and he knew she would sing her heart out. Since this was to be their first venture together in producing an album, a show-business "marriage" long awaited by record collectors, he also wanted it to be a reflection of her true personality – warm, and sincere.

Having resolved the question of content, they next set about to execute it. The first step was to cull twelve of the best songs from the lot. Then, Quincy suggested using a small band to retain an intimate feeling. He started with Miss Jo's own rhythm section, who accompany her on all of her engagements, and added a handful of soulful musicians who appreciate her artists. A couple of topnotch arrangers, Al Cohn and Billy Byers, provided the icing on the cake with a set of outstanding scores.

The results is a new Damita Jo on records. Her sound is quite different from anything she has ever done before. The public knows her as a belting singer, but here she is relaxed yet vibrant. Voice and instruments unite for a perfect blend, each complementing and stimulating the other.

From Billboard - October 12, 1963: There's the element of the unexpected in this album. Damita Jo forsakes her belting bravado for a bluesy easygoing approach to great old standards like "I'll Be Around," "Besame Mucho" and "I'm A Fool To Want You." Damita Jo, who has had a few hot single sellers in the past, will be sought out again by her many fans. "There's relaxed swinging', too on "June Night" and "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." Best tracks: "I'll Be Around" and "A Good Man," etc.

In The Dark
You Won't Let Me Go
I'm A Fool To Want You
Everybody's Somebody's Fool
June Night
Love You Madly
Fifteen Years (And I'm Still Serving Time)
A Good Man Is Hard To Find
Besame Mucho
Speak To Me Of Love

1 comment:

  1. A great version, also love Ketty Lester and of course Billie H


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