What A Difference A Day Makes
1 x LP
2015 EU reissue on 180g LP-One of the more notorious albums in the history of vocal music, What a Diff'rence a Day Makes! is the lush session that bumped up Dinah Washington from the "Queen of the Blues" to a middle-of-the-road vocal wondress -- a...
Dinah Washington's albums from the 1950s are among her best What a Difference a Day Makes On, this '59 date, she sings with Belford Hendricks's chorus and orchestra (which includes Joe Zawinul on piano and Milt Hinton on bass), and her voice soars elegantly over the rich string arrangements and backing choir What a Difference a Day Makes songs. Washington's vocals capture the beauty of each lyric, and the intensity with which she sings is undeniably stirring.
The repertoire on this disc is timeless. After all, who could deny the significance of such tunes as "It Could Happen to You," "I Remember You," and others? These songs are not only firmly entrenched in the Great American Songbook; they are rooted in the very consciousness of jazz. "Cry Me a River" may be the most heartrending track on this disc. Here, Washington provides contrast to the Julie London version by interpreting this song with more of an edge. Her bluesy melodic turns and angular rhythms really bring out the indignation inherent in this lyric. Consisting solely of ballads, WHAT A DIFF'RENCE A DAY MAKES! sets up a wonderfully consistent mood and stands out as one of Washington's finest records.
One of the more notorious albums in the history of vocal music, What a Diff'rence a Day Makes! is the lush session that bumped up Dinah Washington from the "Queen of the Blues" to a middle-of-the-road vocal wondress -- and subsequently disenfranchised quite a few jazz purists. Washington had been praised in the same breath as Holiday and Fitzgerald for more than a decade, but Mercury nevertheless decided to back her with mainstream arrangements (by Belford Hendricks), heavy strings, and wordless vocal choruses similar to the radio hits of the day. Apparently, the mainstream backings didn't faze Washington at all; she proves herself with a voice as individual and evocative as ever. To be honest, the arrangements are quite solid for what they're worth; though it's a bit jarring to hear Washington's voice wrapped in sweet strings, the effect works well more frequently than not. Most of the songs here are familiar standards ("I Remember You," "I Thought About You," "Cry Me a River," "Manhattan," "Time After Time"), but they've been transformed by Washington as though they'd never been sung before. The Top Ten title track is by no means the best song on the album, but its title proved prophetic for Washington's career. Though her vocal style hadn't changed at all, one day she was a respected blues singer; the next, according to most of the jazz cognoscenti, she had become a lowbrow pop singer. Thankfully, the evidence against Washington's "transformation" is provided right here.
Label: Not Now Music
Originally released: 1959
This release: 2015