Irene Kral & The Junior Mance Trio: Irene Kral (vocals); Junior Mance (piano); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Mickey Roker (drums).
Recorded in Los Angeles, California in 1963.
This CD reissues a formerly rare Irene Kral album that was originally recorded for the Ava label, one of only two records that she recorded during 1960-1973. Kral is quite recognizable, although not singing with quite the emotional intensity that she would display during her final three albums (which are all classics). Joined by pianist Junior Mance, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Mickey Roker (whose name is misspelled Rocker), Kral was already a delightful singer. Best are her versions of "Better Than Anything," "The Meaning of the Blues," "It's a Wonderful World," "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry," and "Nobody Else But Me." This enjoyable set is available through the Spanish Fresh Sound label. ~ Scott Yanow