Jump to content

Helen Merrill


Lazaro Vega
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yes, her singing sounds like pillow talk, yet on closer listening she's improvising, with mood, time, emotion, and is closely involved in the arrangements. From her first "hit" session with Clifford Brown, to the exciting unpredictable music recorded with Dick Katz, last night's Jazz From Blue Lake featured the music of Helen Merrill. If you missed it, here's another chance to listen. Helen Merrill : www.bluelake.org/ondemand (image by K. Abe).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Helen Merrill and I have a theory of why, at least to me, she sounds better on her '50s sessions than later.

Given the timbre of her voice, she needs to be mic'd with a condenser microphone, which was most commonly used in the 1950s; my experience is that later engineers tend to always use ribbon mics; the effect, with a whispy voice like hers, is to deaden the sound of the voice (ribbons have a softening effect) and cause a loss of presence. Condensers, on the other hand, have high gain and just a generally fuller presence. This is why, to me, she sounds much better on the Clifford Brown sessions than, say, the Gil Evans re-do of Where Flamingos Fly.

just my opinion.

 

Edited by AllenLowe
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Much as I love her early sessions, I find myself returing more often to some of her later recordings.

Jelena Ana Milcetic, her "Croatian" record, is a particular favourite. Not a conventional vocal jazz album by any means and her singing voice may have lost all traces of "pillow talk" by that point, but it's hauntingly beautiful and very moving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, corto maltese said:

Much as I love her early sessions, I find myself returing more often to some of her later recordings.

Jelena Ana Milcetic, her "Croatian" record, is a particular favourite. Not a conventional vocal jazz album by any means and her singing voice may have lost all traces of "pillow talk" by that point, but it's hauntingly beautiful and very moving.

MI0000160632.jpg?partner=allrovi.com

Not bad either ....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...