CD: Helen Merrill-Dick Katz

merrillkatzsessions.jpgThe Helen Merrill-Dick Katz Sessions (Mosaic). The bewitching singer and the late master of piano harmony and touch collaborated in 1965 and 1969 on two classic Milestone LPs. Mosaic’s reissue of both on one CD is a genuine event. In addition to Merrill’s incomparable singing and Katz’s playing, we get Thad Jones, Jim Hall, Hubert Laws, Gary Bartz, Ron Carter, Richard Davis, Pete LaRoca and Elvin Jones. Katz’s lapidary arrangements are an exquisite bonus. After hearing them for 35 years, I still smile at the surprises in his setting of “Baltimore Oriole.”

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