Something of an all-star session--including producer Quincy Jones, conductor Torrie Zito, and sound engineer Phil Ramone--Nana Mouskouri's 1962 US debut presents the international star performing selections from the Great American Songbook. In phrasing and intonation, Mouskouri shows the influence of her jazz models Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday, yet her Greek accent, as well as her classical and opera vocal training, make for an utterly distinctive approach.
The mood of the set oscillates from understated romance ("No Moon at All") to swelling drama ("What Now My Love"), the latter in particular informed by an almost theatrical sensibility. But Mouskouri's grasp of syncopation and swing is superb, and her improvisatory work on "Love Me or Leave Me" and the breathy lyricism of "The Touch of Your Lips" prove her mastery of the jazz idiom. Excellent packaging and notes, plus the inclusion of three previously unreleased bonus tracks (check out the wonderfully quirky version of "I Get a Kick Out of You"), make this formerly import-only disc a must.