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Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Feeling Good - Julie London


Feeling Good

Feeling Good
Julie Londo
With The Gerald Wilson Big Band
Arrangeer: Gerald Wilson
Producer: Richard Bock
Engineer: "Bones" Howe
Cover Design: Studio Five
Cover Photo: Fred Seligo
Liberty Records LST-7416

From the back cover: Julie London bruises easily. Placed in juxtaposition with, say, a shaggy-dog vocal quartet from England, singing a song based on three wrong chords, she is apt to turn purple all over.

On the other hand, any time she finds herself in the company of an arranger like Gerald Wilson and a set of songs with attractive melodies and meaningful lyrics, she is as likely as not to take on a radiant air and sing, as she looks, like a living doll.

Julie is one of those much too rare performers who, one can sense, sings not for the fast buck but for esthetic reward. Her musical taste is impeccable. Nor should her taste in husbands be faulted when she can pick a man who, like Bobby Troup, writes such songs as "Won't Someone Please Belong To Me" or the lyrics to Neal Hefti's "Girl Talk" theme from the "Harlow" film.

Mrs. Troup's other agenda include the album's title song, which originated in "The Roar Of The Greasepaint"; a theme from "The Yellow Roll's-Royce" called "She's Just A Quiet Girl (Mae)"; the song about brushing, assembled by a promising young composer named Fred Manley; and "Hello Dolly," which she takes at a tempo better suited to her temperament than Satchmo's upper pace.

"I also included 'Summertime'," she says, "because Stacy said to me, 'Mommy, why don't you record this new song I just heard?" she said. Stacy is 15 and she'd heard a teenage version on the radio. This made me feel a thousand tears old."

If it took Julia's version to remind her daughter that a rock 'n' roll song was really a ballad, it also took the London touch to make a modern vehicle out of a country and western Roger Miller specialty, as the novel two-voice treatment of "King Of The Road" makes pulsatingly clear.

Gerald Wilson was raised in Detroit, Michigan (I won't name his native state, since it wasn't his fault.); he settled in Los Angeles in 1942 after three years on the road with the great Jimmie Lunceford Band. In addition to recording his superb band in a series of instrumental albums for Pacific Jazz, he has accompanied an impressive list of singers who's yen for first-class arrangements led them to him: Ray Charles, Bobby Darin, Al Hibbler, Nancy Wilson, for instance.

Gerald's featured soloist is Jack Wilson (no relation to Gerald of Nancy), a 29 year old Chicagoan active for the past couple of years as pianist, composer and combo leader around Los Angeles. Such tracks as "She's Just A Quiet Girl" indicate that he has a fruitful new career ahead of him as an organist. Also present are mend like saxist Teddy Edwards, guitarist John Gray, bassist Jimmy Bond, drummer Earl Palmer and a dozen other members of the West Coast elite.

As Gerald said after this album was completed: "Julie is beautiful, but it's been clear ever since "Cry Me A River" that she didn't rely on her looks. She really knows how to interpret a lyric; she has a lovely sound; and she's a wonderful person to work with."

The name of London and Wilson is guaranteed to leave you unbruised, and in a mood very adequately expressed in the albums' title song. And who, as Gershwin once said, can ask for anything more? – Leonard Feather

From Billboard - September 25, 1965: The rich, warm, vocal styling of Miss London adds new luster and beauty to the much-recorded "My Kind Of Town" and "She's Just A Quiet Girl (Mae)." With Gerald Wilson's big band support on his own superb arrangements, the beautiful songstress has another in a long line of smash LP's.

My Kind Of Town (from the Warner Bros. motion picture "Robin And The 7 Hoods")
Girl Talk (from the Paramount-Embassy film "Harlow")
King Of The Road
I Bruise Easily
Feeling Good (from the Broadway show "The Roar Of The Greasepaint, The Smell Of The Crowd")
Watermelon Man
She's Just A Quiet Girl (Mae) (from the MGM motion picture "The Yellow Rolls-Royce")
Hello Dolly!
Won't Someone Please Belong To Me

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