Personnel: Laurie Allyn (vocals); Stella Castellucci (harp); Marvin Limonick, Joachim Chassman, Felix Slatkin, George Berres, Irma Neumann, Paul Shure (violin); Alexander Neiman, Alvin Dinkin (viola); Eleanor Slatkin (cello); Pete Candoli (trumpet); Red Mitchell (double bass); Al Viola (guitar); Don Fagerquist, Frank Beach, Ed Leddy, Lee Katzman (trumpet); Vincent DeRosa (French horn); George Roberts (trombone, bass trombone); Herbie Harper, Pete Carpenter (trombone); Marty Paich (piano, celesta); Mel Lewis (drums, percussion).
Liner Note Author: Peter Jacobson.
Recording information: Hollywood, CA (10/02/1957-10/05/1957).
Photographer: Dave Pell.
Arranger: Marty Paich.
Here is a real obscurity. Laurie Allyn sang jazz in Chicago in the mid-'50s and made this one recording for the Mode label. Unfortunately a week later the label ceased operations, and although this set was listed in its catalogs, it was not released for the first time until 47 years later. Allyn, who would later go by the name of Didi Pierce, apparently never recorded another jazz date, and that is a pity. Her voice is small but quite expressive, cool but inwardly emotional. Her choice of notes is excellent and she draws listeners into the music. Accompanied by a string orchestra on eight selections and a brass section on four others, with all of the numbers arranged by Marty Paich, Allyn is in superior form on such songs as "You Go to My Head," "Easy Living," a slow version of "The More I See You," and "Where Are You." Trumpeter Don Fagerquist, guitarist Al Viola, and pianist Paich are major assets in the backup bands. This ballad-oriented set is well worth acquiring by fans of 1950s jazz-influenced vocalists; some of the singing (particularly on "I'll Never Smile Again") is quite haunting. ~ Scott Yanow