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Jackie & Roy: The ABC – Paramount Years

This year, Jackie Cain and Roy Kral, the supreme jazz vocal duo, celebrate a half-century of music-making (and one year less of wedlock). The buoyant blend of Jackie’s crystalline voice and Roy’s debonair singing and bebop-inflected piano has delighted audiences since they joined Charlie Ventura’s “Bop For The People” band in 1948. The ABC-Paramount Years anthologizes highlights of the four albums they recorded for that label between 1956 and 1958, performances that sound as ebullient today as they did four decades ago. Half of the selections present the Krals in small group settings, supported by, among others, Barry Galbraith, Shelly Manne and Richie Kamuca. As always, their repertoire is meticulously chosen, a discerning mixture of standards (Berlin, Gershwin, Porter and Rodgers and Hart) and challenging original material by Alec Wilder, Bart Howard and Tommy Wolf and Fran Landesman. James Gavin’s informative liner notes and William Claxton’s elegant images of this photogenic pair complement an essential jazz-oriented vocal reissue.

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