Terry Morel (vcl), Herbie Mann (fl), Tony Luis, Ralph Sharon, Gerald Wiggins, Bob Dorough, Clare Fisher (p), Ron Andrews, Jay Cave, Gene Wright, Woody Woodson, Gary Peacock (b), Hank Nanni, Christy Febbo, Bill Douglass, Chuck Thompson, Larry Bunker (d), Jackie Mills (perc)
Bar code: 8427328611077
Terry Morel (1925-2005) was a gifted vocalist who always seemed to find steady work in her native Philadelphia, ever since her professional debut in 1949. For a good six years, she was mostly singing musical comedy tunes, with successful appearances at nightclubs all over the East Coast, but this wasn't quite enough for Terry. She loved jazz, and wanted to sing the songs she liked, the way she wanted. That's why she gave up a successful career in a field she didn't really enjoy, to become a single, a jazz singer.
As soon as she took that new, bold step in her career, audiences started to notice, and so did labels, Prestige and Bethlehemin particular. In the records that resulted, we find a Terry that swings lightly, with a husky, pleasant voice, warmth, closeness, and a feeling for words and melody. In 1957 she moved to Los Angeles, and spent a few years performing successfully on the West Coast, but after 1962 she all but vanished from the papers. Her memory has faded almost completely, and all we are left with are these recordings, a testament to her special kind of effortless bedroom hush, so common in the June Christy and Chris Connor style, that in her case sounded completely natural.
"Songs of a Woman in Love is a quintessential Bethlehem label release -- a smoky, profoundly expressive session bathed in neon tavern light, it's singer Terry Morel's lone release for the label, which seemed to specialize in this kind of one-and-done snapshot of feminine malaise and melancholy. Backed by a trio led by pianist Ralph Sharon and featuring flutist Herbie Mann, Morel's dusky, come-hither vocals mask a deeper emotional turmoil that shades songs like "Too Late Now" and "The Night We Called It a Day." The session is devoid of all traces of the sweetness and innocence that so often define her peers, instead articulating an intimacy and intensity rare in the postwar, pre-feminist '50s."
Jason Ankeny —All Music Guide
"It continues to boggle the mind when one starts realizing how many excellent female vocalists were on the jazz scene in the 1950s and 60s. You only scratch the surface with Ella, Sassy, Chris Connor and Peggy Lee, as Spain-based Fresh Sound Records keeps digging up buried treasures that deserve to be heard and heard again. Here are a couple recent finds…
THE VOICES THAT TIME FORGOT series continues with a pair of obscure gems.
Philadelphia-born Terry Morel was a fixture in the local scene, and never stretched out much further, yet her husky cool June Christy’d tone is both flexible and warm on this inviting collection of material. There are a handful of 1955 studio sessions with her local working band, and she plays around with the lyrics of “I Can’t Get Started” while carrying a glowing torch on “I Remember You”. A 1956 gig in New York has her teamed with Tony Bennett’s pianist Ralph Sutton as well as Herbie Mann/fl, Jay Cave/b and Christy Febbo/dr with some nifty work on “How About You?”, “Mountain Greenery” and a glowing work with Sutton on “More Than You Know”. A few tunes from a 1957 LA TV Show has her with all stars Bob Dorough-Gerald Wiggins-Claire Fisher/p, Gene Wright-Woody Woodson-Gary Peacock/b, Bill Douglass-Chuck Thompson-Larry Bunker/dr and Jackie Mills/perc to display a cooing warble on “But Not For Me” and “Skylark”. Dry ice at the mic."
—George W. Harris (November 26, 2021)
No customer reviews yet. Login to leave your impressions!