What a Diff’rence a Day Makes! (Mercury, 1959)
A game-changer for this amazing singer who was already working sublimely between jazz and blues, this LP arrived with a noticeable pop sheen, thanks to Belford Hendricks’ savvy arrangements. Washington’s rendition of the title track set a new standard, and her covers of “I Thought About You” and “Cry Me a River” are equally potent. As a whole, the album helped pave the way for soul-jazz singing.