Jane Fielding (vcl), Joe Maini (as), Ted Efantis (ts), Kenny Drew, Lou Levy (p), Leroy Vinnegar, Paul Chambers, Red Mitchell (b), Lawrence Marable (d)
Reference: FSRCD 722
Bar code: 8427328607223
Jane Fielding was only 21 when she made these recordings in 1956. Her voice, low and warm, with a fine phrasing, revealed a natural affinity for jazz, something confirmed by the calibre of the stellar West Coast jazzmen she could call on for these rare examples of her fine talent.
They are the only two albums she recorded for Jazz:West, a small, label based in Hollywood. On the first shes backed by a quality quintet led and arranged by pianist Kenny Drew, with two outstanding saxophonists, altoist Joe Maini and tenor Ted Efantis, and a rhythm section including Leroy Vinnegarsharing bass duties with Paul Chambersand drummer Lawrence Marable. Drews beguiling charts blend beautifully with Janes singing.
The second album, made six months earlier, embraces a more intimate mood, and her musical empathy with Lou Levy and Red Mitchell is confirmed by the jazz-trio effect they achieve.
Included as a bonus are two songs she performed on the Stars of Jazz TV show in 1957. She sings so well on these sessionsand with such an innate feel for jazzthat it makes the fact she enjoyed such a brief career on the mid-fifties West Coast scene all the more extraordinary. And disappointing.
"[...] Singer Jane Fielding recorded only two albums in her lifetime, both made in 1956 when she was 21 years old. Little is known about Fieldingsome contend she was actually a pro ice skater who hung up the skates due to an injurybut it's clear that, had she stayed in the jazz game, there was a bright future at hand. Her youth comes through at timeslet's call her sound "smolderingly youthful"but her maturity on material that's often difficult is incredible. On tunes like "Embers Glow," "Right Boy for Me" and, believe it or not, "Round Midnight," she is more than confident and clearly feels the lyric. Some of her accompanists aren't too shabby, either, and include saxophonists Ted Efantis and Joe Maini, bassists Paul Chambers and Red Mitchell and pianist Kenny Drew, who also penned some of the charts."
Bruce Klauber -All About Jazz (Novermber 22, 2012)