Beverly Kenney (vcl), accompanied by Ralph Burns, Hal Mooney & Eddie Safranski Orchestras, feat. Charlie Shavers (tp), Eddie Bert (tb), Al Klink (ts), Ellis Larkins (p), Chuck Wayne, Stan Freeman (g), Joe Benjamin, Bill Pemberton (b), Ed Shaughnessy (d)
Reference: FSRCD 721_2
This definitive double-CD edition includes the complete DECCA albums:
- SINGS FOR PLAYBOYS + 4 Bonus Tracks (*)
- BORN TO BE BLUE + 1 Bonus Track (+)
- LIKE YESTERDAY
And many more from his SESAC recordings and TV broadcasts
Over fifty years after her death, singer Beverly Kenney (1932-1960) remains a cult figure for her fans around the world. Her career was tragically briefshe took her own life when she was 28. She possessed a sweet, child-like vocal quality and a nuanced, pleasant jazz-styled phrasing that won her favour with both pop and jazz audiences.
On these outstanding Decca sides, recorded few years before her death, she displays the smooth, smart and bittersweet touch that defined her personal style.
In addition to the fine small group performances with front-rank jazzmen and orchestral settings with Ralph Burns and Hal Mooney, this set also includes all the sides she recorded with the Eddie Safranski orchestra for the Sesac publishing and record label. All the critical hosannahs they earned her, however, never quite translated into widespread public acceptance, due, at least in part, to the burgeoning rock & roll movement, which she loathed, even composing a song called I Hate Rock and Roll, which she performed on the Steve Allen TV show on May 18, 1958making the perfect addition to this collection.
The closer of the set is a highly valuable document, taped from a Playboy Penthouse TV show, where she is interviewed by Hugh Hefner and sings with her distinctive sophisticated phrasing and cool jazz sensibility.
01. 1. Your Love Is My Love (Norman Mapp) 3:07
02. The Magic Touch (Livingston-Evans) 2:23
03. Its Magic (Cahn-Styne) 2:27
04. AYoure Adorable (The Alphabet Song) (Kaye-Lippman-Wise) 2:30
05. Time Was / Its So Peaceful (Prado-Russell) 3:05 (*)
06. A Summer Romance (Taylor-Judson) 3:06
07. Try a Little Tenderness (Woods-Campbell-Connelly) 3:12
08. What Is There to Stay (Duke-Harburg) 3:54
09. A Lover Like You (Clements-Judson) 3:27
10. Its a Most Unusual Day (McHugh-Adamson) 1:46
11. Youre My Boy (Cahn-Styne) 2:57
12. Whats It Like in Paris (Clements-Judson) 3:17 (*)
13. Sing a Rainbow (Archer) 3:01 (*)
14. Brooklyn Love Song (Kaye-Lippman) 2:55 (*)
15. Do It Again (Gershwin-DeSilva) 2:35
16. A Womans Intuition (Young-Washington) 3:30
17. Life Can Be Beautiful (McHugh-Adamson) 2:57
18. Mama, Do I Gotta? (Mizzy-Curtis) 2:04
19. Again (Lionel Newman-Dorcas-Cochran) 2:18
20. Isnt It a Pity (George & Ira Gershwin) 2:32
21. Where Can I Go Without You (Victor Young-Peggy Lee) 2:26
22. Beyond The Next Hill (Haymes-Worth) 2:54
23. You Couldnt Be Cuter (Kern-Fields) 2:22 (+)
24. Born to Be Blue (Wells-Tormé) 3:32
25. I Walk a Little Faster (Coleman-Leigh) 2:51
26. Its a Blue World (Wright-Forrest) 2:19
27. Somewhere Along the Way (Sammy Gallop-Kurt Adams) 3:05
01. For All We Know (Coots-Lewis) 3:09
02. It Only Happens When I Dance With You (Irving Berlin) 2:43
03. Vanity (Woods-Manus-Bierman) 2:58
04. Go Away, My Love! (Livingston-Evans) 2:33
05. Undecided (Shavers-Robin) 2:12
06. A Sunday Kind of Love (Bell-Leonard-Rhodes-Primo) 3:31
07. Somebody Else Is Taking My Place (Howard-Ellsworth-Morgan) 2:02
08. I Had the Craziest Dream (Warren-Gordon) 3:21
09. What a Difference a Day Made (Grever-Adams) 2:18
10. Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe (Harold Arlen-E.Y. Harburg) 2:20
11. Tampico (Roberts-Fisher) 2:01
12. Sentimental Journey (Brown-Homer-Green) 2:07
13. Any Old Time (Artie Shaw) 2:35
14. And the Angels Sing (Elman-Mercer) 1:45
15. More Than You Know (Youmans-Rose-Eliscu) 2:39
16. The Dipsy Doodle (Larry Clinton) 1:46
Bonus Tracks (The Sesac sessions):
17. Lonely and Blue (Johnson) 2:38
18. Yours Sincerely (Sivers) 2:35
19. Long, Lean and Lanky (Rudy Toombs) 2:54
20. Too Bad (Washington-McRae) 2:45
21. Too Late to Be Sorry (Washington-McRae) 2:03
22. Its a Mean Old World (Doug Bagby) 2:10
23. Tall, Dark and Handsome (Langworthy) 2:15
24. Lets Try Again (Unknown) 1:59
25. The Stars, the Night, the Moon (Unknown) 2:32
26. That Pyramid Jazz (Zuber-Fields-Panella) 2:16
27. I Hate Rock and Roll (Beverly Kenney) 1:50
28. What Is There to Say (Duke-Harburg) 2:42
Playboys Penthouse TV Show:
29. Interview 0:42
30. Everything Happens to Me 2:25
31. Interview continues 1:06
32. Mountain Greenery 1:38
33. Makin Whoopee duet with Hugh Hefner 1:51
34. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning 1:41
CD 1, tracks #1-2 from the 45 rpm 7" single Decca 9-30614
CD 1, tracks #3,4,6-11, 15-18 from the 12" LP
"Sings For Playboys" (Decca DL 8743)
CD 1, tracks #19-22, 24-27 and CD 2, tracks #1-4 from
the 12" LP "...Born to be Blue..." (Decca DL 8850)
CD 2, tracks #5-16 from the 12" LP
"Like Yesterday" (Decca DL 8948)
CD 2, tracks #17-26 from different Sesac Recording sessions and albums
CD 2, track #27 from the Steve Allen Show at NBC-TV
CD 2, track #28: Live recording
CD 2, tracks #29-34 from Playboy's Penthouse Show at WBKB-TV
CD 1 tracks 5, 12-14, and 23 were not included in the original LP configurations.
CD 2 track 28 (What Is There to Say) is a live orchestrated version from the same tune recorded for Decca and included on CD 1, track 8.
Personnel on #1-2:
Beverly Kenney (vcl), accompanied by Ralph Burns and His Orchestra
Recorded in New York City, February 19, 1958
Personnel on "Sings for Playboys":
Beverly Kenney (vcl), accompanied by Ellis Larkins (p, celeste), Joe Benjamin (b).
Recorded in New York City, December 2, 1957
Personnel on "Born to be Blue":
Beverly Kenney (vcl), accompanied by Orchestras directed by Hal Mooney (CD1 #19-22, CD2 #1-4) and Charlie Albertine (CD1 #23-27). Ellis Larkins plays piano and celeste on all selections, Charlie Shavers (tp CD2 #1-3).
Recorded in New York City, October 9 (CD1 #1-4) and 14 (CD1 #5-9), and October 22 (CD2 #1-4), 1958
Personnel on the The Sesac sessions (#17-26):
Beverly Kenney (vcl), accompanied by Eddie Safranski and His Orchestra. Collective personnel including: Dale McMickle, Jimmy Nottingham, Bernie Glow (tp), Will Bradley, Bob Alexander, Lou McGarity (tb), Artie Baker (cl), Hymie Shertzer (as), Al Klink (ts), Dany Bank (bs), Dick Hyman (p), Mundell Lowe (g), Eddie Safranski (b, arr), Don Lamond (d).
Recorded in Rockaway, N.J., 1958.
Personnel on #27:
Beverly Kenney (vcl), accompanied by orchestra conducted by Skitch Henderson.
Steve Allen TV-Show, May 18, 1958
Personnel on #28:
Beverly Kenney (vcl), accompanied by unknown orchestra.
Location and recording date unknown.
Personnel on #29-34:
Beverly Kenney (vcl), accompanied by unknown rhythm section (p, celeste, b, d).
Playboys Penthouse TV Show. Hosted by Hugh Hefner. Chicago, 1960
Original Decca recordings produced by Milt Gabler
Compiled for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo / Mono · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"Attention fans of vocal jazz! This review is for YOU! What Jackie Paris is to male singers, Beverly Kinney is to females. She had an incredibly individual voice all her own, recorded some incredibly moving music, never quite got to the top tier, and, suddenly, just like that (in her case because of suicide) had a career that was abruptly cut off from the music scene. This pair of 2-CD sets (FSRCD 720 & FSRCD 721) covers everything youll want, and make you scrounge around for anything else that might be out there.
The Decca recordings follows the same format, with the music sounding just a tad more formal. Kenny is accompanied by Ellis Larkins/p and Joe Benjamin for a 1957 intimate collection of under the radar material like A Summer Romance and A Lover Like You, as well as more familiar material such as What is There to Say and the mood is haunting all throughout. Hal Mooneys band and a small combo that includes Ed Shaghnessy/dr, Charlie Shavers/tp, Al Klink/ts and Chuck Wayne. A few bonus sessions, as well as a pair of vintage TV appearances round out this intriguing collection . She bares her soul with Larkins on Try a Little Tenderness and A Summer Romance, while takes Mel Tormes Borne to be Blue and makes it her own. She is quite playful on Tampico and Undecided and Long, Lean and Lanky is an absolute hoot. The fact that she was unappreciated during her terribly short life is a crime, and an added footnote to the line in Ecclesiastes that under the sun, all is vanity. Try to get some meaning out of it all by enjoying what she brought to us still on this side of eternity."
George Harris / www.jazzweekly.com (October 18, 2012)
"Beverly Kenney was a sensitive, lyrical and individual jazz stylist who was well on her way to fame when she took her own life at the age of 28 in 1960. Sadly, she sometimes gets more attention for that than she does for her singing. Beverly Kenney: The Complete Decca Recordings is a two-CD set that captures the singer's many unique sides in a number of settings, some blatantly commercialhey, you've got to sell recordsand others in stark surroundings with accompaniment only by the superb piano of Ellis Larkins and bassist Joe Benjamin. Kenney's sound was sort of a Stacey Kent out of Joanie Sommers, little-girlish type of approach that, under the right circumstancesand knowing her tragic historycan really get to you. This one will grow on you. Particularly late at night."
Bruce Klauber -All About Jazz (November 22, 2012)
"One of the most promising jazz singers to emerge in the 1950s, Beverly Kenney committed suicide in 1960 after a love affair broke up; she was just 28. In her short career, she received praise from critics but was probably fighting a losing battle against rock and roll. If she had been born ten years earlier, her renditions of superior standards may very well have made her famous. Decades after her death, she became a bit of a cult figure in Japan where all of her recordings and some previously unreleased material (including a demo session from 1954) became popular [...]
Equally skilled on swinging material and ballads, Kenney always did justice to the words that she interpreted while consistently uplifting each song. The Complete Decca Recordings, which covers 1958-60, has the albums Songs For Playboys (with pianist Ellis Larkins), Born To Be Blue (a large orchestra), and Born To Be Blue (with four different groups). Also included are obscure numbers made for the Sesac label, two cuts from a 45, her original I Hate Rock And Roll (performed on the Steve Allen Show) and four songs and a brief interview from her appearance on the television show Playboys Penthouse."
Scott Yanow -L.A. Jazz Scene (February, 2013)