Reference: FSRCD 809
Bar code: 8427328608091
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By the end of 1960, Mavis Rivers, was that rarest of rare combinations: heart, soul, voice, stylethe insiders choice to scale the heightswhen Frank Sinatra caught her act and immediately signed her to his newly formed Reprise label. She had already recorded three albums for Capitol Records and attracted an international following among jazz audiences.
During her two years with Reprise she recorded another three excellent albums accompanied by all-star orchestras arranged and conducted by skillful maestros of the Hollywood studios, like Marty Paich (Mavis), Van Alexander (Swing Along with Mavis), and Chuck Sagle (Mavis Meets Shorty), plus a couple of singles by Neal Hefti. On the third album she shared the spotlight with Shorty Rogers, who contributed his great taste and tonal strength to some well-conceived solos on fluegelhorn. On these albums she shows why she was considered one of the best rhythm singers in the music business. Frank Sinatra is said to have described her as the purest voice in jazz, comparing her to Ella Fitzgerald, and it was certainly no accident that Miss Rivers was compared to Queen Ella so frequently.
"Samoan born Mavis Rivers (1929-1992) came on like a whirlwind in 1959 and all through 1961-2 [...] Even better from a jazz point of view is disc 2 with Mavis singing on the first 12 tracks with Marty Paichs orchestra and sterling solos from Jack Sheldon and Bud Shank. These discs deserve an extra half star on the rating. Theres No You is a poignant vocal reading with a rich orchestral backing featuring Sheldon and some tasty French horn and tuba interjections. The next 11 pieces are also with a top jazz outfit conducted by Van Alexander and featuring soloists of the calibre of trumpeter Conrad Gozzo and saxophonist Ted Nash. Mavis was never quite sure that she was a jazz singer or indeed if such an animal existed but these songs will satisfy most jazzers. Sinatra rated her very highly and signed her to his new Reprise label where all of the music on discs 3 & 4 comes from.
The final 12 on disc 4 feature Chuck Sagles jazzmen-laden orchestra with Shorty Rogers as featured soloist. She swings I Remember You in true jazz mode with Shortys flugel providing extra jazz ballast. You Brought A New Kind Of Love is another top-drawer swinger with both Mavis and Shorty at their considerable best, the vocalist adding scat to her interpretation. The late 1950s and early 60s were a golden age for jazz vocalists, most of them female and Mavis Rivers was one of the best. This double CD set from Fresh Sound are indispensible to anybody who loves good jazz vocal albums."
Derek Ansell -January, 2014
"Mavis Rivers had a casual, amiable approachthough her delivery was glossier and swinging. Rivers' marble-smooth tone was seductive and her held notes shimmered with a slight vibrato. But she resisted belting songs, coolly sending up songs with hip phrasing. In all fairness to Southern, Rivers recorded at the tail end of the 1950s and the start of the 1960s, when the jazz-pop idiom had been perfected, resulting in crackerjack 12-inch LPs.
Rivers had A-list arrangers like Jack Marshall, Dick Reynolds, Nelson Riddle, Marty Paich, Neil Hefti, Van Alexander and Chuck Sagle. Most of her song choices were upbeat, and her phrasing on up-tempo tunes borrowed ever-so-slightly from Ella Fitzgerald's round, friendly conversational style. Rivers was truly one of the finest least-known singers of the era."
Marc Myers -October 1, 2013
"La de Mavis Rivers (1929 - 1992) es la historia de una joven que creció a la sombra de Ella Fitzgerald. Nacida en Samoa, acabó instalándose en Los Ángeles, donde desarrollaría una carrera que la llevó a firmar con Capitol un contrato en 1958. Durante los dos años siguientes grabó un total de tres álbumes con, entre otros, el prestigioso director de orquesta Nelson Riddle, aunque tal vez sea el último de esta época, The simple life, en el que brilla con una especial intensidad al lado del sexteto que la acompañaba. Frank Sinatra reparó en ella y se la llevó a Reprise, donde dio de sí otros tantos LP y singles al lado de Marty Paich o Chuck Sagle. De todos ellos nos quedamos con el que grabó con Shorty Rogers. Algo más que una émula de Ella."
Rafa Martínez (12 de Marzo, 2014)
Cultura(s) / La Vanguardia