Honi Gordon, Sue Childs (vcl), Ken McIntyre (as, fl), Tony Sotos (ts, bs, fl), JR. Monterose (ts), Sherm Mitchell (tb), Jaki Byard (p), Wally Richardson, Bill Pasquale (g), George Duvivier, Bruce Anderson (b), Ed Shaughnessy, Gaetan Caviola (d), Jerry La Furn (arr)
Reference: FSR V113 CD
Bar code: 8427328641135
The Best Voices Time Forgot
Collectible Albums by Top Female Vocalists
· Collector's Edition
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art, Liner Notes
· Complete Personnel Details
· Stereo Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
Honi Gordon Sings
The album Honi Gordon Sings introduced a new singer with decided jazz leanings. Her vocalization was clean and her diction precise, with a voice bending towards the sensuous. Backed by an impeccable rhythm section with guitarist Wally Richardson, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Ed Shaughnessy, Honi demonstrated in her debut album that she had a good and comfortable range at either up or slow tempo. Alto sax / flutist Ken McIntyre, and pianist Jaki Byard —not players one would expect on a vocal album— were the major soloists on this thoroughly enjoyable and swinging blend of pop standards and jazz tunes, and Miss Gordon could hardly have wished for more stimulating musical confreres.
Introducing Sue Childs
Sue Childs was a young singer originally from Flint, Michigan, who sang with all of the outstanding musicians both in her hometown and the Detroit area during her formative years. Introducing Sue Childs was her only album, and it came about in 1964 when Sue was booked on the same show as the Tony Sotos quartet at Mr. C’s Supper Club in Flint. The excitement of the two acts working together made the producer’s choice an easy one. Miss Childs had her own distinctive style and approach to jazz, and contributing to the hard swinging atmosphere of these recordings is the accompanying group of tenorist Tony Sotos. Since its release in 1964, her album has become a collector’s item, and what it makes particularly desirable even today, is the stimulating participation of star tenor saxophonist JR. Monterose on two of the tracks.
"Honi Gordon, whose time in the jazz spotlight was all too brief, came from a musical family. In 1956, together with her father and two brothers, she performed on a Lionel Hampton session (Fresh Sound FSRCD 446) and the following year they were on a Dizzy Gillespie-Stuff Smith date (Verve 513875-2CD). In 1959 she was one of the backing singers together with Babs Gonzales and Ned Gravely for Eddie Jefferson’s Body & Soul – Eddie’s homage to Coleman Hawkins (Inner City 1016). That same year she appeared on Charles Mingus’ Dynasty album where she was featured on Strollin’ aka Nostalgia In Times Square (Columbia 065145).
Miss Gordon’s rich, husky-voiced contralto is reminiscent of early Sarah Vaughan and on this reissue she is clearly inspired by the intimate surroundings provided by Jaki Byard and company. Eschewing the standard song-book repertoire one might expect on a debut album she performs fairly obscure material, some of which was composed by her father. The exceptions are I’ll Wind which compares favourably to versions by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Ernestine Anderson, Lena Horne etc., and Why Try To Change Me Now which benefits from a sensitive half-chorus from Jaki Byard.
There is a mystery concerning My Kokomo which has the hallmarks of an Annie Ross piece of vocalese. Honi’s unerring grasp of the tricky melodic and rhythmic line seems to reflect the characteristics of an improvised jazz solo but I have been unable to track down the source. Perhaps one of our well-informed readers can identify the origin of this track?
Sue Childs’ musical resumé is even more modest than Honi Gordon’s as this was her only recording. The timbre of her voice reminds me a little of Frances Faye but she is a far more accomplished singer as she demonstrates on this fine set of well-known songs.
Jerry La Furn contributed the swinging charts and in Honeysuckle Rose and Out Of Nowhere he has included hints of their respective contrafacts – Parker’s Scrapple From The Apple and Mulligan’s Roundhouse."
Gordon Jack (October 2, 2019)
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