Cathi Hayes (vcl), Barney Kessel (g, arr, cond), Conte Candoli (tp), Bud Shank (as), Bill Perkins, Ted Nash (ts), Justin Gordon (bs), Jimmy Rowles (p), Howard Roberts (g), Monty Bugwig (b), Shelly Manne (d), Larry Bunker (vib)
Reference: FSRCD 055
Bar code: 8427328600552
"Cathy Hayes is another one of those lesser-known artists whose work finds its way to the Fresh Sound reissue catalog. A native of Milwaukee, Hayes had been performing as a professional for seven years before getting the chance to cut this, her only album, recorded at three separate sessions in Hollywood in 1959 and issued on the HiFi label. Straight out of the cool school, Hayes' sound falls somewhere between Jeri Southern and June Christy. She matches excellent diction and phrasing with a strong rapport for lyrics, and is equally comfortable with upbeat and slow ballads. Her pleasant voice, backed by stellar West Coast musicians led by Barney Kessel, makes this album eminently listenable. Kessel and the other big guns are not asked to solo much. Rather, they are content with providing an agreeable instrumental framework and backdrop for Hayes' unstrained voice, delivering relaxed arrangements of singable tunes. In short, this album is pretty much Hayes' show. "If I Were a Bell" and "And the Angels Sing" (done with a big band) are terrific examples of Hayes' ability to swing. But it's on the rarely heard Nikolaus Brodszky/Sammy Cahn composition "Wonder Why" where Hayes really shows off her solid swinging skills. The ballads "Last Night When We Were Young" and "You Don't Know What Love Is" are given a tantalizing treatment by Hayes. "Down in the Depths" is done with a Latin beat, with Conte Candoli's trumpet and Kessel's guitar making strong showings. Kessel and Hayes team up for a soulful rendition of "You Don't Know What Love Is," which is one of the highlights of the session, while Larry Bunker's vibes and Kessel's guitar support Hayes' very relaxed reading of "My Old Flame." During her brief recording career, Hayes broke no records as a jazz singer. Nonetheless, given the delivery and interpretation of the material on this album, it's regrettable that she disappeared from jazz so early in her promising career."
Dave Nathan -All Music Guide
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