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Helen Merrill on WKCR


Brad
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On Wednesday night when I was driving home, WKCR played an interview that Schapp did with Helen Merrill from a few years ago during a Clifford Brown birthday broadcast. She got a last chance to talk and reminesce about the sessions with Brownie and I had never heard her talk before but she seemed like a person with a lot to say. She said that she didn't remember a lot of details because she was so nervous about the sessions but under some prodding from Schapp a lot of details came back to her. She sounded like a very interesting person and they played some of the music and she has a very beautiful voice. I've listened to the Brownie box but never really noticed before what a nice voice she had.

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Yes I've become a tremendous fan of Helen's. . . one real problem is that a lot of her very best works are just so hard to get! But I invite you to explore her work Brad, she's a unique talent . . . her interpretations of songs are both beautiful and deep.

I have three Helen's I really love to hear in my life: my first love who became my wife, Helen Elizabeth Haggerty, Helen Folesade Adu, and Helen Merrill. Two of them can really sing! ^_^

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You've got the session with Brownie, right?

In some ways I view the CENTER of her work to be the albums with Dick Katz that Gitanes reissued in the last four or five years. . . try to find Chasin' the Bird, A Shade of Difference or The Feeling is Mutual. . . .

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I would agree with Lon's assessment -those Katz collaborations represent a pinnacle of Merrill's artistry and of jazz singing in general.

I also think her run on the Emarcy and affiliated Universal labels in the 80s through now has been pretty fantastic, too.

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You've got the session with Brownie, right?

In some ways I view the CENTER of her work to be the albums with Dick Katz that Gitanes reissued in the last four or five years. . . try to find Chasin' the Bird, A Shade of Difference or The Feeling is Mutual. . . .

Thanks Lon. I've got a line on the one with Dick Katz and will look for the others.

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