Billie Poole’s second album for Riverside was an ingenious program of blues and blues-related material that made the most of the singer’s gospel roots and feeling for the jazz tradition, then as now a particularly winning blend. The repertoire moves convincingly from Bessie Smith and Big Bill Broonzy to Billie Holiday, Billy Eckstine, and Ray Charles, with stops for new songs like a pair by the gifted Norman Mapp. Poole was in exceptional company in the studio, with pianist Junior Mance’s working trio plus the eloquent guitar of Kenny Burrell providing soulful accompaniment. Everyone sounds totally at home in a collection that improves as the hour grows late.
with Junior Mance, Kenny Burrell, Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker