Blues in the Night: The Johnny Mercer Songbook

Blues in the Night: The Johnny Mercer Songbook



Contrary to Verve's blurb on the sticker of this CD, this is not the first songbook album devoted to the lyrics of Johnny Mercer; indeed, none other than Verve was responsible for an Ella Fitzgerald/Mercer songbook back in 1964. Needless to say, Ella is here, as is an all-star gallery of Verve, Mercury. MGM and Mars artists in an anthology spanning some 40 years of recording history and about 16 years of Mercer's work (1936-52). There are some enterprising choices like Buddy Rich singing "Goody Goody" quite competently in front of a big band, the first recording of the lyrics to "Early Autumn" via a rare Woody Herman recording on his own Mars label, and Helen Merrill drifting over the dissonantly loose Gil Evans Orchestra in "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home." Of the most famous songs identified with Mercer, Louis Armstrong's marvelous meeting with the Oscar Peterson Quartet on "Blues in The Night," Anita O'Day's buoyant "Come Rain Or Come Shine" with Jimmy Giuffre's off-center ensemble, and Billie Holiday's hard-boiled treatment of "One For My Baby" (with sweet and sultry obligatos by Harry "Sweets" Edison and Ben Webster) stand out. Other artists heard here include Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Billy Eckstine, Margaret Whiting, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Throughout, when not distracted by the musical quick-changes, the listener is seduced by Mercer's facility with lingering images and interior rhymeplay. And even though a single disc isn't quite enough to sum up Mercer's achievement - after all, it isn't easy to choose 16 songs out of some 1, 500 - this is only Volume One.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/1997
Label: Polygram Records
UPC: 0731455326826
catalogNumber: 553268

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bing Crosby   Vocals,Track Performer
Louie Bellson   Drums
Phil Bodner   Flute,Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute
Buddy Collette   Flute
Bob Cooper   Tenor Saxophone
Buddy DeFranco   Clarinet
Billy Eckstine   Vocals,Track Performer
Harry Edison   Trumpet
Herb Ellis   Guitar
Victor Feldman   Background Vocals,Vibes
Maynard Ferguson   Trumpet
Ella Fitzgerald   Vocals
Jimmy Giuffre   Conductor
Gil Goldstein   Piano
Urbie Green   Trombone
Woody Herman   Conductor,Vocals,Track Performer
Henry Johnson   Guitar
Barney Kessel   Guitar
Jimmy Knepper   Trombone
Steve Lacy   Soprano Saxophone
Mel Lewis   Drums
Helen Merrill   Vocals
Red Mitchell   Bass
Ted Nash   Tenor Saxophone
Art Pepper   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Bill Perkins   Tenor Saxophone
Oscar Peterson   Piano
Nat Pierce   Piano,Celeste
Buddy Rich   Vocals,Track Performer
Jimmy Rowles   Piano
Bud Shank   Alto Saxophone
Norman Simmons   Piano
Paul Smith   Piano
Mel Tormé   Vocals,Track Performer
Dinah Washington   Vocals,Track Performer
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Margaret Whiting   Vocals,Track Performer
Joe Williams   Vocals,Track Performer
Pete Candoli   Trumpet
Carl Fontana   Trombone
Russell Garcia   Conductor
Chris Hunter   Clarinet,Flute,Oboe
Chubby Jackson   Bass
Babe Russin   Tenor Saxophone
Buddy Bregman   Conductor,Track Performer
André Ceccarelli   Drums
Jack Green   Trombone
Bob Bain   Guitar
Anita O'Day   Vocals,Track Performer
Sue Allen   Vocals
Louis Armstrong   Trumpet,Vocals,Track Performer
John Audino   Trumpet
Joe Zawinul   Piano
Bob Badgley   Bass
Danny Bank   Flute,Bass Clarinet
Norman Benno   Oboe
Milt Bernhart   Trombone
Billie Holiday   Vocals,Track Performer
Dee Dee Bridgewater   Vocals,Track Performer
Ray Brown   Bass
Red Callender   Bass
Roy Caton   Trumpet
Gene Cipriano   Woodwind
Joe Comfort   Bass
Conrad Gozzo   Trumpet
Irving Cottler   Drums
Hein van de Geyn   Bass
Don Fagerquist   Trumpet
Thierry Eliez   Piano
Gil Evans   Conductor
Gilbert Falco   Trombone
Frank Flynn   Percussion
Chuck Gentry   Baritone Saxophone
Dick Hafer   Tenor Saxophone
Belford Hendricks   Conductor
Francis Howard   Trombone
John Howell   Trumpet
George Hughes   Drums
Jack Sheldon   Trumpet
Kathyrine Julye   Harp
Tom Kenny   Vocals
Gerryck King   Drums
Harry Klee   Flute
Joe Koch   Woodwind
Joe Mondragon   Bass
Vito Mangano   Trumpet
Marty Paich   Celeste
Mel-Tones   Vocals
Nelson Riddle   Conductor
Ginny O'Connor   Vocals
Bernie Parke   Vocals
Richard Perissi   French Horn
George Price   French Horn
George Roberts   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Sarah Vaughan   Vocals,Track Performer
Wilbur Schwartz   Woodwind
George Seaberg   Trumpet
Tommy Shepard   Trombone
George "Harmonica" Smith   Clarinet
Alvin Stoller   Drums
Kirk Stuart   Piano
Bobby Tucker   Piano
Lloyd Ulyate   Trombone
Buster Williams   Bass
Wally Kane   Bassoon,Bass Clarinet
Dan Beck   Flute,Bass Clarinet
Lee Fortier   Trumpet
Sam Staff   Baritone Saxophone,Bass Saxophone
Lloyd W. Hildebrand   Bassoon
Lee Young   Drums
Sonny Igoe   Drums
Merrill   Track Performer
Frank Emilio Flynn   Percussion
Carroll Lewis   Trumpet
Howard Terry   Bassoon
Maurice Stein   Alto Saxophone
Seymour Schoneberg   Oboe
Arno Marsh   Tenor Saxophone
William Smith   Woodwind
William McLeish Smith   Woodwind
Robert Bain   Guitar
William Hinshaw   French Horn
Belford Hendricks Orchestra   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Jimmy Giuffre   Arranger
Woody Herman   Composer,Producer
Quincy Jones   Producer
Helen Merrill   Producer
Norman Simmons   Arranger
Ralph Burns   Arranger,Composer
Russell Garcia   Arranger,Producer
Buddy Bregman   Arranger
Jerome Kern   Composer
Jean-Philippe Allard   Producer
Norman Granz   Producer
Gil Evans   Arranger
Dave Gelly   Liner Notes
Belford Hendricks   Arranger
Marty Paich   Arranger
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Harry Meyerson   Producer
Nelson Riddle   Arranger
Clyde Otis   Producer
Peter Pullman   Notes Editing
Richard Seidel   Executive Producer
Bobby Tucker   Arranger
Kiyoshi "Boxman" Koyama   Producer
Jesse Kaye   Producer
Gil Evans Orchestra   Contributor
Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra   Contributor
Miriam Cutler & Swing Street   Producer
Darren Crawforth   Cover Photo
Ron Berinstein   Producer
Sung Lee   Director,Art Direction
Richard A. Whiting   Composer
Russell Garcia Orchestra   Contributor
Marty Paich Orchestra   Contributor
Buddy Bregman & Orchestra   Contributor
Woody Herman & His New Thundering Herd   Contributor

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