Personnel: Etta Jones (vocals); Etta Jones; Tom Aalfs, Tom Aalfs (violin); Dick Morgan (piano); John Webber, Keter Betts, Ray Drummond (bass instrument); DJ Frankie Jones, Frankie Jones (drums); Peter Bernstein , Russell Malone (guitar); Houston Person (tenor saxophone); Steve Turre (trombone); Norman Simmons, Richard Wyands (piano); Chip White, Kenny Washington (drums).
Recording information: M & I Recording Studios, New York, NY (11/26/1996-06/21/2001).
Etta Jones, who died in 2002, recorded for the High Note label during her final six years. This sampler has selections picked from five of her final recordings by her longtime musical partner tenor-saxophonist Houston Person, who says that they were her favorite tracks. There are three selections apiece from The Melody Lingers On, All the Way and her final album Etta Jones Sings Lady Day plus one apiece from My Buddy and Easy Living. Although her range had shrunk a little by then, her voice still sounded fairly strong during these last years while her expressive qualities made many of the selections touching. Person has a few short solos, as do guitarists Russell Malone and Peter Bernstein and trombonist Steve Turre is on "I Should Care," but the emphasis is mostly on Jones' singing. Her fans will desire her complete CDs but beginners wanting a sampling of this underrated talent will find much to savor on this well-conceived set, which is highlighted by the best version of "All of Me" since Dinah Washington. ~ Scott Yanow