****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Nancy Harrow: Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues/You Never Know

WHO IS THIS CHICK?!?!? I put on this 1960 session by a singer I’ve never heard of, and all I hear for the first few minutes is a hip KC-bluesy jam that sounds like a bunch of Basie alumni having a good time. Am I really listening to a singer, or did I pop in the wrong disc? Half way through, in comes his lady, is she black? White? I can’t tell, but she sounds like she’s having a GREAT time, and belts out “Take Me Back Baby” like she’s been there and back. Nancy Harrow cut a couple of INCREDIBLE albums in the early 60s before going domestic, raise a family and write children’s books. How could I make this up? Lucky husband! After taking some time off, she got back into singing, but this is where you want to start.

Her delivery has a sly feel like she’s got a secret that she knows you want to hear, yet is debating whether to let you in on it. This lady sounds like a lot of fun as she takes you by the collar on “Blues For Yesterday” and a ribald “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues.” Just get a load of how she gets you sweating as she describes “all the strange delights that only your love could bring” in Ellington’s “All Too Soon.” Where has this lady been?!? OK, so she’s got the blues down. How about strings? Well, a session with John Lewis/p, Jim Hall/g, Richard Davis/b, Connie Kay/dr, Phil Woods/as and a string section blows away anything Billie Holiday ever attempted. The sophisticated yet visceral nuance that supports Harrow on “You Never Know” and “Autumn” is simply, dare I say it? Harrowing. Saucy, sensitive, stylish and swinging-this is a lady that is gonna make you dig for anything else she may have done. Beyond “Wow”-SHAM WOW!

Fresh Sound Records


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