Though it doesn't stint on the number of songs, the Dinah Washington collection 50 Original Recordings on Prism lacks the context needed for such a long and famous career. This material dates from her period at Mercury during the 1940s and early '50s, an important time when Washington was testing her audience with a range of material: R&B standards (and some that would be), numbers from the growing American songbook, and a few novelty numbers from the recent charts. Thing was, Washington excelled at anything she put her mind to and, like Billie Holiday, made the best case for the existence of any song she sung; her version of "Wheel of Fortune" outdid Kay Starr's (who was no small jazz singer herself) and she even triumphed when asked to sing a version of Hank Williams' 1951 country smash "Cold, Cold Heart" (which crossed over surprisingly well). Whether singing ballads ("Stairway to the Stars," "Embraceable You") or a risqu‚ blues ("Long John Blues," her own composition), Washington made a song (temporarily) her own. So, the material is excellent, but lacking informative liner notes and other information (as well as above-average sound), this Prism collection isn't the best way to acquire it; consider either the exhaustive Complete 1943-1951 Mercury Master Takes on Jazz Factory or a shorter compilation like The Definitive Dinah Washington ~ John Bush
38583GDinah Washington - 50 Original Recordings (2-CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/a-z/z/zsm879.jpg?v=414.995.98USDOutOfStockPrism LeisureCDVocals-MusicSALEDinah-Washington2012-12-04
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