Righteous has hit upon an attractive idea in pairing rare 10” albums from the 50s. This issue catches two leading actresses of the day trying to widen their appeal. Their stage abilities give them both a very decent head start with song delivery, though that’s where the similarities end. Bergen’s breathy, smoky club delivery is very effective on The Way You Look Tonight, Autumn Leaves and Little Girl Blue, as she works intimately with a small jazz piano-led combo. By contrast, Raye is more upbeat and sassy, with some big brass arrangements leading the way on The Boy Next Door and Miss Otis Regrets, before she too captures the late-night feel on the delicious After You’ve Gone. Also raising a smile is the contemporary commentary of Ooh, Dr Kinsey, whose studies of human sexual behaviour – notably the 1948 publication of Sexual Behaviour In The Human Male – would certainly have been a target for many in US nightclubs.
Polly Bergen/ Martha Raye - Little Girl Blue/The Voice Of Martha Raye
Torch songs almost ignite
Righteous | PSALM 23:44
Reviewed by Kingsley Abbott
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