Joy Bryan (vcl) with Wynton Kelly (p), Al Viola (g), Leroy Vinnegar (b), Frank Butler (d) / Jack Sheldon (tp), Bob Enevoldsen (cl, bcl, vtb), Herb Geller (cl, as), Ronny Lang (cl, bs, as), Marty Paich (p), Red Mitchell (b), Mel Lewis (d)
Reference: FSRCD 699
As a jazz singer, Joy Bryan still alive at the time of writing (2012) was a natural. Despite that, the two LPs collected here are the only albums she ever made. Highly regarded by some of the finest jazz musicians in the 50s and early 60s, when she recorded them, Bryan sang with an unaffected warmth and innate feel for the music.
Its particularly true of Make The Man Love Me, where she fronts a superb rhythm section in Wynton Kelly - whose work as accompanist and soloist must be among the best this great pianist ever recorded - Leroy Vinnegar and Frank Butler, with Al Viola added on guitar. There are captivating versions of the title track, My Romance, My Funny Valentine, These Foolish Things and, above all, Old Devil Moon, where she handles the shifting metres with total aplomb.
The second album, Joy Bryan Sings, made four years earlier, includes West Coast jazz royalty in Marty Paich, Herb Geller, Jack Sheldon, Bob Enevoldsen, Red Mitchell, Mel Lewis, and Ronnie Lang. And though Paichs arrangements made it a tighter date than its successor, there are accomplished contributions from Sheldon and Geller in particular, with Bryan poised and at her best on an arresting Round Midnight.
-Joy Bryan Sings
"Joy Bryan only made two albums in her career and that is a real pity for she was a subtle and talented jazz singer. This CD reissue brings back her earlier date, a septet outing arranged by Marty Paich and including such fine sidemen as trumpeter Jack Sheldon, altoist Herb Geller and Bob Enevoldsen on valve trombone, clarinet and bass clarinet. Bryan performs a dozen standards with the most unusual selections being "Down the Old Ox Road," "Mississippi Mud" and a rare early vocal version of "'Round Midnight." Excellent music!"
Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)
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