Albums

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Crossover - Released January 26, 2018 | SKIP Records

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Crossover - Released December 16, 2003 | Pool Music & Media GmbH

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Crossover - Released July 7, 2017 | Real Gone Music

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Following her split with husband and creative partner Louis Prima, vocalist Keely Smith signed with Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records for a series of finely curated and well-received albums designed to showcase her voice and relaunch her career. The first of these, 1963's Little Girl Blue/Little Girl New, featured arrangements by Sinatra's longtime collaborator, the illustrious Nelson Riddle, and was conceptualized in two parts with Side A, "Little Girl Blue," featuring ballads and Side B, "Little Girl New," focusing on more upbeat numbers. The result was a tour de force of an album that presented Smith as the solo star she deserved to be -- and which Sinatra had known she could be for many years prior. Thankfully, as per all of Sinatra's Reprise contracts, the artists kept the rights to the master recordings, which is where they remained until Smith struck her own deal with Real Gone Music for a series of reissues, including this 2017 expanded edition of Little Girl Blue/Little Girl New. Though she had recorded solo albums for Dot during her years with Prima, she had been somewhat overshadowed by the kitschy, flamboyant tone (and Grammy-winning success) of their performances, which often found her playing the cheeky straight man to her trumpeter husband's swing-era clown. Afforded far greater freedom on Sinatra's label, she was presented on Little Girl Blue/Little Girl New as an urbanely sophisticated hipster and a clarion diva in the mold of such similarly inclined contemporaries as June Christy, Anita O'Day, and Kay Starr. Cuts like her yearning take on "Here's That Rainy Day" and her languorously sensual reading of "I'll Never Be the Same Again" reveal her as a mature and knowing performer in contrast to the lighter, more comedic tone of her work with Prima. That said, she can still knock 'em dead as she does on the latter half of the album, her highly resonant voice slicing through uptempo swinger's like "I'm Gonna Live 'til I Die" and "I've Got a Lot of Livin' to Do." Ultimately, listening to Smith and her pointed yet dusky, golden-toned voice pouring out of Riddle's shimmering, sky-blue arrangements, one can easily see why Sinatra jumped at the chance to work with her. ~ Matt Collar

Crossover - Released October 28, 2016 | Hubro

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Crossover - Released October 14, 2016 | Real Gone Music

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Crossover - Released March 15, 2016 | Saxofun Cd 4

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Crossover - Released March 3, 2016 | Brein Music

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Crossover - Released March 3, 2016 | Brein Music

Crossover - Released November 6, 2015 | Hubro

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Crossover - Released September 4, 2015 | Hubro

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Crossover - Released August 24, 2015 | TomTone Productions

Crossover - Released August 14, 2015 | Hubro

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Crossover - Released July 24, 2015 | WM Malaysia

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Crossover - Released January 15, 1996 | WM Malaysia

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Crossover - Released September 28, 1999 | WM Malaysia

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Crossover - Released June 17, 1996 | WM Malaysia

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Crossover - Released April 20, 2004 | WM Malaysia

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Crossover - Released September 6, 2013 | Hubro

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Crossover - Released November 19, 2012 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

The success of Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which opened at the Nederlander Theater on Broadway on May 12, 1981, and ran 333 performances, until June 30, 1982 (Horne's 65th birthday) was a cumulative one. Horne had been performing in nightclubs, theaters, and casinos for 40 years, singing many of the same songs she sang at the Nederlander, but somehow the Broadway context and her perseverance combined to make this more than a glorified club act. Horne had the benefit of being an artist who had faced adversity (particularly, the vicissitudes of being an African-American star in Hollywood in the 1940s) and, if not triumphed, at least persisted, so that, as she reached her golden age, her struggles within the entertainment business could be seen as heroic. And, she was still at it, which made her, in the nomenclature of the time, a "survivor." That earned her gales of applause from theatergoers who had made the journey with her and from new fans who were too young to remember her and were discovering her anew. The show made some attempt to at least trace the outlines of Horne's career from being a Cotton Club chorus girl in the 1930s to a movie star in the '40s. After a clutch of initial songs, an announcer made a Cotton Club announcement, and there was a short dramatic scene featuring several other performers who gave Horne a breather by doing a few numbers. Otherwise, she periodically interrupted the run of songs for personal reminiscences about her career as introductions to songs with which she was associated from her movie and previous Broadway musical appearances. The bulk of the show, however, was given over to her typically moving interpretations of classic songs by Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Harold Arlen, and others. Among the new material, there was an emphasis on songs about endurance and self-reliance, in keeping with the overall theme, notably the Jim Croce hit "I Got a Name" and Paul Williams' "Life Goes On," both of which were turned into showstoppers. But then, the show was one showstopper after another, and a fitting capper to a great career. ~ William Ruhlmann