Etta Jones – The Best Of Etta Jones: The Prestige Singles

Etta JonesEtta Jones
The Best Of Etta Jones: The Prestige Singles

(Prestige – 2002)
by Dick Bogle

Etta Jones’ career was such lengthy one, spanning five decades that this release of 18 tracks only scratches the surface. It notes the three years between 1960 and 1963 and is only a tiny piece of her vocal fabric, however delightful. Still, it’s significant because it represents her beginnings after earliest days which began in 1950 with the Buddy Johnson band. Her taste runs to slow and medium tempos which is a fine fit for her phrasing. At this stage, she had to develop that slight rasp which came in later years.

Also not yet present is that stylized cry or break in her voice which became one of her trademarks. She is accompanied by some of the best sidemen of the times including Frank Wess, Richard Wyands, Roy Haynes, Charlie Persip, Kenny Burrell, Larry Young and more. Selections include “Don’t Go To Strangers,” ” If I Had You,” ” Just Friends,” “Unchained Melody,” “Nature Boy,” and “In The Dark”.