One of the most remarkable aspects of Peggy Lees many-faceted personality was her seemingly inexhaustible creativity, amply demonstrated on these two fine albums she made at the peak of her career.
On Blues Cross Country, surrounded by the cream of Hollywood studio and jazz musicians in a stellar orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones, she gives full rein to her twin talents as a nonpareil vocal stylist and gifted lyricist. Seven of the dozen songs on this album are hers. They show her in a many-hued blues moodsad, happy, wistful, celebratory and always swinging. A further great asset is the fact that, in addition to his work as director, Jones is also the arranger of all tunes except San Francisco, by Benny Carter.
On If You Go, she pours her wonderful voice like pure honey into warmly romantic and husky performances of soft, moody ballads. Jones again brings his arranging skills to the table, this time making deft use of strings and woodwinds in varied combinations on an album with songs that sound as if they were written with Peggys breathless, intimate and insinuatingly personal delivery especially in mind.
01. Kansas City (Leiber-Stoller) 2:28
02. Basin Street Blues (Williams) 3:03
03. Los Angeles Blues (Lee-Jones) 2:36
04. I Lost My Sugar in Salt Lake City (René-Lange) 2:51
05. The Grain Belt Blues (Lee-Raskin-Schluger) 1:50
06. New York City Blues (Lee-Jones) 3:19
07. Goin to Chicago Blues (Basie-Rushing) 2:34
08. San Francisco Blues (Lee-Raskin-Schluger) 2:35
09. Fishermans Wharf (Lee-Raskin) 3:08
10. Boston Beans (Lee-Raskin-Schluger) 2:02
11. The Train Blues (Lee-Jones) 2:40
12. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 2:13
13. Hey! Look Me Over (Coleman-Leigh) 1:53 (*) Bonus Track
14. As Time Goes By (Hupfeld) 2:51
15. If You Go (Emer-Parsons) 2:40
16. Oh Love Hast Thou Forsaken Me (Bowers) 2:35
17. Say It Isnt So (Berlin) 2:55
18. I Wish I Didnt Love You So (Loesser) 2:46
19. Maybe Its Because (I Love You Too Much) (Berlin) 2:01
20. Im Gonna Laugh You Out of My Life (Coleman-McCarthy) 2:47
21. I Get Along with You Very Well (Carmichael) 2:47
22. (I Love Your) Gypsy Heart (Lee-Burke) 2:28
23. When I Was a Child (Huddleston-McIntyre) 3:14
24. Heres That Rainy Day (Van Heusen-Burke) 2:48
25. Smile (Chaplin-Turner-Parsons) 2:20
Tracks #1-12, from the Capitol album "Blues Cross Country" (ST-2732)
Track #13, from the Capitol album "Extra Special!" (ST-2732)
Tracks #14-25, from the Capitol album "If You Go" (ST-1630)
Both albums features Peggy Lee, with Orchestra Arranged & Conducetd by Quincy Jones
Personnel on "Blues Cross Country":
Jack Sheldon, Conrad Gozzo, Joe Graves, Pete Candoli, Bob Fowler, Ray Triscari, Al Porcino (tp); Frank Rosolino, Tom Shepard, Dick Nash, Lew McCreary, Hoyt Bohanon, Vern Friley (tb); George Roberts, Bob Knight (b-tb); Benny Carter, Bill Green (as); Buddy Collette, Plas Johnson, Bill Perkins, Justin Gordon (ts); Jack Nimitz (bs); Jimmy Rowles, Frank Strazzeri (p); Dennis Budimir (g); Max Bennett (b); Stan Levey (d); Francisco 'Chino' Pozo (bongos); Frank Guerrero (conga).
Recorded at Capitol Towers, Hollywood, April 14,15,17 & 19, 1961.
Personnel on "If You Go":
Dan Lube, Anatol Kaminsky, Marshall Sosson, Herman Clebanoff, Jacques Gasselin, Victor Arno, James Getzoff, Louis Kaufman, Harry Bluestone, Benny Gill, Felix Slatkin, Paul Shure (violins); Paul Robyn, Alvin Dinken, Cecil Figelski, Virginia Majewski (violas); Ray Kramer, Armand Kaproff, George Neikrug, Eleanor Slatkin (cellos); Verlye Brilhart (harp); Vince De Rosa, John Cave, Dick Perissi, James Decker (Frh); Ted Nash, Jules Kinsler, Justin Gordon, Wilbur Schwartz (woodwinds); Benny Carter (as); Victor Feldman (p); Dennis Budimir, Al Hendrickson (g); Max Bennett (b); Shelly Manne (d); Francisco Chino Pozo (bongos); Ray Rivera, Mike Gutierrez, Melvin Zelnick (percussion).
Recorded at Capitol Towers, Hollywood, June 22,23 & 24, 1961.
Original recordings produced by Page Cavanaugh.
Original cover photos: John Engstead.
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol.
Stereo 24-Bit Digitally Remastered