For a long time I didn’t really get Dinah Shore. So many of the recordings from her heyday were just too straight, too cool – that’s cool as in detached not ‘cool’ as in Chris Connor or Anita O’Day.
By the late 50s her hit-making years were behind her but she was a big TV star. Perhaps on the back of that, she was signed by Capitol. None of her recordings with them were particular commercial successes but they are easily the musical high point of her career. She recorded two LPs with Andre Previn (one of duets with his piano the other of lushly orchestrated ballads) and another with Red Norvo.
The best of the bunch is probably Dinah, Yes Indeed! She lucked out and got Nelson Riddle as her arranger – and some great songs. There’s a bonkers arrangement of Falling In Love With Love when Nelson pulls out the same bongos he utilised for Garland on Come Rain Or Come Shine (and would subsequently deploy for Rosie Clooney on April in Paris) – and he even goes all Pete Rugolo with some surprising tempo changes which let Dinah show off her chops.
But there are also some lovely, straightforward ballad readings including this one of possibly the Gershwins’ finest moment. A bit like Clooney after all those years of Mitch Miller novelty numbers, Dinah seems thrilled to be given something to get her teeth into and goes for it – without sacrificing an iota of the poise for which she was always know.