Down Beat - 2/02, p.563.5 stars out of 5
- "...Her supple, translucent voice offers a sweet, refreshing quality reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and even Carmen McRae..."
Personnel: Etta Jones (vocals); Oliver Nelson, Jerome Richardson (tenor saxophone); Lem Winchester (vibraphone); Jimmy Neeley, Richard Wyands, Sam Bruno (piano); Wally Richardson, Kenny Burrell, Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar); Michael Mulia, George Duvivier, Ernest Hayes (bass); Rudy Lawless, Roy Haynes, Bobby Donaldson (drums).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey between 1960 and 1962. Includes original release liner notes by H.G. MacGill.
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (2001, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Etta Jones had the spark that made each of her vocals special, though she was never acknowledged properly during a long career. Following her hit "Don't Go to Strangers," she continued to record first-rate songs. Many of her albums were unjustly out of print for decades, though Hollar! was finally reissued by Fantasy as part of their Original Jazz Classics series in 2001. Jones is backed by three separate groups on this release. Guitarist Wally Richardson provides the driving rhythm to back her swinging take of "And the Angels Sing," while vibraphonist Lem Winchester and pianist Richard Wyands support Jones in her emotional rendition of "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." Jones would eventually return to the brisk bop gem "Reverse the Charges" decades after this recording, but this early version is preferable, with a nice interlude by pianist Jimmy Neely. There's a bit of friendly conversation in the studio as Jones gets underway with another swinger, "Our Love Is Here to Stay," adding a boisterous tenor sax solo by Oliver Nelson. This is easily one of Etta Jones' best recordings. ~ Ken Dryden