I'm Just A Lucky So And So
Label: Verve Reissues
You have to hand it to Helen Merrill – not only has she always been a daring vocalist, but she's often chosen to have unconventional jazz backings, even if it stopped her from gaining mainstream exposure. On this 1956 session, Merrill fought to work with the arranger Gil Evans before he resumed his star-making collaborations with Miles Davis. The pairing makes sense since it brings together two artists with unconventional timing and cool jazz voicings. Best numbers include Johnny Mercer's "Any Place I Hang My Hat," the Rodgers and Hart lament "He Was Too Good To Me," and two noir classics – Sinatra's "I'm a Fool to Want You" and the equally cinematic "Where Flamingoes Fly," which is further enhanced by Evans' circular charts.