Advertisement
Advertisement

Shelley Moore: For The First Time …/Ann Williams: First Time Out

In brief:
"Both singers presented here are on the boundary between jazz and pop ... As the series title tells us, time has forgotten them and this is an attractive reminder of their talent"

Both singers presented here are on the boundary between jazz and pop. The one perhaps closest to jazz will have older UK fans digging into their memories of the Vic Lewis orchestra. This is Shelley Moore (c.1932-2016), who sang with Lewis in the 1950s, going with him to America on a tour that took his version of Stan Kenton’s music back to where it came from.

Moore remained in America, singing for a while with Ray McKinley, then settling there at the end of the decade. Almost at once, she made For The First Time, but in 1963 bowed out in order to raise a family. She made a comeback in the late 1970s, singing mainly in Southern California’s clubland and recording again in the early 1990s.

Advertisement

Moore’s voice is soft and gentle with good diction and phrasing whether on ballads, such as For The First Time and Twilight, or uptempo numbers like I Want To Be Happy. Here and there is a subtle Latin touch, for example on I Hadn’t Anyone Till You. A light and carefree atmosphere is evident throughout the session and there are good solo spots from pianist, flautist and tenor saxophonist.

After studying classical piano, Ann Williams (1928-2007) began singing professionally soon after her 1949 marriage. For a decade she sang in clubs, often in New York City, and in 1960 made First Time Out. Apart from a few singles, this album appears to be her only recording. In later life, Williams lived in Southern California and was active there on the local jazz scene, although not as a performer.

Her vocal sound is clear and she brings to the lyrics awareness and understanding of the emotional content. The accompaniment has three different groups all led by Jimmy Jones, who also wrote the arrangements. Recorded at three sessions during the same week (tracks not appearing chronologically), the bands are small groups, on one date expanded with a four-piece string section. The instrumentalists, like Williams, perform with engaging crispness although solos are few. As the series title tells us, time has forgotten these two singers and this is an attractive reminder of their talent.

Sample/buy Shelley Moore: For The First Time … / Ann Williams: First Time Out at freshsoundrecords.com

Discography
(1) [For The First Time …] For The First Time; I Want To Be Happy; Twilight; I Give My Thanks To You; So In Love; The Thrill Is Gone; Dancing In The Dark; Summer Love; I Hadn’t Anyone Till You; Lonely Seasons (2) [First Time Out] Serenade In Blue; Just Squeeze Me; Now You’re Leaving Me; The World Doesn’t Care; I Wish You Love; You And Our Lullaby; When The Sun Comes Out; Moonlight In Vermont; I Wish I Were A Witch; When A Woman Is Blue; Deep In A Dream; Everything I’ve Got (56.42)
(1) Moore (v); Ramsey Lewis Trio: Lewis (p); Eldee Young (b); Redd Holt (d), and Plas Johnson (fl); Eddie Harris (ts); John Collins (g). Los Angeles, October 1961.
(2) Williams (v); Jimmy Jones Orchestra inc. Clark Terry (t, flh); Frank “Count” Williams (p); Barry Galbraith (g). NYC, 10, 13, 16 May 1960.
Fresh Sound FSR V124

Latest audio reviews

Advertisement

More from this author

Advertisement

Jazz Journal articles by month

Advertisement

Georgia Mancio, Alan Broadbent: Quiet Is The Star

These poignant songs of love, loss and of regeneration are performed with great warmth and delicacy by Georgia and Alan in this second collection...
Advertisement

Obituary: Richard Wyands

Richard Wyands began studying the piano at the age of seven or eight and showed remarkable proficiency. By his own admission, “I was very...
Advertisement

Dave Liebman: one of the original eclectics

“There was a very high level of musicians involved. It doesn’t get much better,” enthuses veteran soprano and tenor saxophonist Dave Liebman of his...
Advertisement

Riff: The Shake Keane Story

Ellsworth “Shake” Keane is probably best known for his six years as front-line partner in the Joe Harriott Quintet that recorded the innovative albums...
Advertisement

Thelonious Monk Quartet: Live

I saw Monk in concert three times: first with his quartet at Jazz Expo 69, then with the Giants of Jazz in 1971 and...
Advertisement

JJ 08/60: George Russell – New York, N.Y.

This album has been hailed, in some quarters, as a milestone in jazz, a new conception of jazz presentation, and so on. It turns...