Among The Stars
Arranged and Conducted by Billy Byers
Executive Producer: Herman D. Gimbel
Produced by Barry D. Oslander
Engineer: Phil Macy
Re-Mixing Engineer: William Hamilton
Cover Art: Charles Blodgett
Liner Notes: Sara Cassey
Audio Fidelity Stereodisc AFSD 6142
Jacket cover photographed in front of the Al Hirshfeld mural at the Fifth Avenue Cinema, N.Y.C.
Audio Fidelity Records produced and released the world's first Stereophonic High Fidelity record (Stereodisc) in November 1957.
From the back cover: "There are lots of girl singers, but very few who sing." Renee Raff is a girl who sings, and sings very well indeed.
Although this is her initial album, there is a wealth of music to suit the desires of those who search after singing riches, and one important reason why is the innate sense of musicianship which Miss Raff displays throughout. Unquestionably, this is due in part to her academic background - first piano lessons at age seven; piano and voice training... Royal College of Music, London; jazz piano, Julliard School of Music with John Mehegan.
If some selections hare are refreshingly new to you, it was a deliberate plot. In the album's planning stages, it was first decided to use six standard and six originals, but the original material submitted was so perfect for Miss Raff's talents, that eight were used (Several others were turned down, reluctantly.) The Material covers a wide range, from sophisticated Noel Coward, to jazzman Gerry Mulligan with lyrics, to Jan Piereweit, a South African (Miss Raff's home) folk song.
Arranger Billy Byers has made subtle use of the fact that Miss Raff is an obviously jazz-oriented performer. His inventive arrangements have left ample room for delivery while sustaining the mood of each tune, whether soft ballad, or swinging up-tempo. The musicians, too, provide the framework to enhance this feeling; consider the solid support of Ossie Johnson and Milt Hinto, the flawless piano of Hank Jones (Starting Tomorrow) or the shining flute obligatos of Jerome Richardson (Let There Be Love). A splendid voice in a splendid setting.
Let There Be Love
In The Interim
Willow Weep For Me
Please Don't Leave Me
Among The Stars
Mad About The Boy
Little Girl Blue
Butterfly With Hiccups