Born in Chicago on April 2, 1932, Barbara Long was essentially a small group singer in the tradition of Billie Holiday and the early Sarah Vaughan. Her first professional gig was as featured vocalist with tenorman Johnny Griffins trio at Chicagos Cotton Club. Early in 1959, she headed for New York, where a recording opportunity with altoist Herb Geller (tracks #13-16) led to a chance to record her own album for Savoy.
Called Soul, it was the only one she ever made. Backing her is the multifaceted arranger and trumpeterboth open and mutedBilly Howell, who had accompanied her since her Chicago days. He was attuned to every nuance of her style and she used his malleable and lovely tone as an effective contrast to her more broadgauged sound.
The front line included one of the brightest new tenor saxophone stars at the time, the fiercely rhythmic Booker Ervin, a featured soloist in Trolley Song and When Youre Smiling. The rhythm sectionNat Phipps, piano; George Tucker, bass; and Al Harewood, drumsis tight and together, while Barbara Longs pithy, faintly hoarse, intimately bluesy voice blends like a sixth instrument with the thoroughly cooking quintet that supports her.
01. The Trolley Song (Blane-Martin) 2:18
02. Gee Baby, Aint I Good to You? (Redman-Razaf) 3:10
03. Largo to Oscar (Phipps) 3:31
04. When Youre Smiling (Fisher-Goodwin-Shay) 3:06
05. Call Me Darling (Reisfeld-Fryberg- Marbee-Dick) 2:22
06. Where Is Lonesome (Phipps) 3:17
07. On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper-Washington) 3:10
08. You Dont Know What Love Is (DePaul-Raye) 4:00
09. Serenade (Long-Phipps) 1:45
10. Squeeze Me (Waller-Williams) 3:13
11. Theme from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) 2:49
12. Its Heaven (Phipps) 4:16
13. Everythings Coming Up Roses (Styne) 4:05
14. Together (Styne) 4:33
15. Mamas Talkin Soft (Styne) 3:56
16. Small World (Styne) 4:57
Tracks #1-12, from the Savoy album
Soul - The Voice of Barbara Long (MG12161)
Tracks #13-16, from the Atco album Gypsy
by the Herb Geller and his All Stars (SD 33-109)
Personnel on #1-12:
Barbara Long (vocals), accompanied by Billy Howell (trumpet & arranger), Booker Ervin (tenor sax), Nat Phipps (piano), George Tucker (bass), Al Harewood (drums).
Recorded at Medallion Studio, Newark, New Jersey, January 5 (#3,4,6,7 & 12) & 10 (#1,2,5,8,9,10 & 11), 1961
Personnel on #13-16:
Barbara Long (vocals), accompanied by Thad Jones (trumpet), Herb Geller (alto sax), Hank Jones (piano), Scott LaFaro (bass), Elvin Jones (drums). Billy Taylor (replaces Jones on #16).
Recorded in New York, June 9 & 10 (#16), 1959
Original recordings produced by Herman Lubinsky (#1-12)
and Nesuhi Ertegun (#13-16)
This CD compilation produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered