Personnel: Betty Bennett (vocals); Bob Cooper (saxophone); George Cables (piano); Mundell Lowe (guitar); Monty Budwig (bass); Roy McCurdy (drums).
Recorded in Hollywood, California in 1990.
On her first album in almost 40 years, Betty Bennett is joined by a sterling, veteran group of musicians (including her husband, guitarist Mundell Lowe). Her voice is a bit huskier than it was when she was singing with Alvino Rey, Charlie Barnet, and Claude Thornhill, and there's a bit of a quiver from time to time, but those minor flaws won't prevent the listener from enjoying this session. There's a slight glitch in the playlist -- "The Song Is You" is shown as the first cut in the liner notes, but is actually eighth on the bill. Instead, the album starts off with "I Thought About You," which is done in a fast tempo, with the venerable Bob Cooper's tenor featured along with Lowe's guitar. A winsome "Everytime" follows, again with Lowe and Cooper sharing the spotlight. In addition to better-known standards, Bennett includes some rare material, such as the Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg song "The Eagle and Me" (which Dooley Wilson sang in the 1944 movie Bloomer Girl) and "Just Because We're Kids." The title tune, "The Song Is You," is the album's barnburner, featuring an excellent Cooper solo. "Some Other Spring" is done with a quirky but interesting beat. On the other lyrical paeans to spring, "You Must Believe in Spring" and Bob Haymes' "They Say It's Spring," Bennett shows that even after almost 40 years, she has not lost her ability to thoroughly explore and express the emotional value of the songs she sings. If anything, the emotional value has become richer and more mature with time. Nor has she lost her ability to swing, which she does admirably on such uptempo songs as "No More Blues." Big-band days are recalled with a medley of "Humpty Dumpty Heart" and "Do You Know Why," which were Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey favorites, respectively. All in all, a very satisfying outing by a singer who has been away from the recording studio for far too long. ~ Dave Nathan