SoulTracks Lost Gem: Nancy Wilson delivered an all-timer on "Youth"

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    There are few vocalists who impacted the worlds of jazz, pop and R&B over the second half of the 20th century as much as the late, great Nancy Wilson.

    And when the divine Ms. Wilson was nearing the end of her recording career, she issued two tremendous albums for the MCG Jazz label, R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) and Turned to Blue. These discs were filled with gentle readings of classics, performed by at artist who, in her late 60s, was completely in charge of her vocal instrument.

    There are few vocalists who impacted the worlds of jazz, pop and R&B over the second half of the 20th century as much as the late, great Nancy Wilson.

    And when the divine Ms. Wilson was nearing the end of her recording career, she issued two tremendous albums for the MCG Jazz label, R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) and Turned to Blue. These discs were filled with gentle readings of classics, performed by at artist who, in her late 60s, was completely in charge of her vocal instrument.

    On 2004’s R.S.V.P., Wilson took an all-time classic by Edward Heyman and Oscar Levant – recorded over 50 times by artists ranging from Sinatra to Julie London – and made, for my money, its definitive version. On “Blame It On My Youth, accompanied only by Llew Matthews on piano, Ms. Wilson lightly delivered a tour de force on the beautiful ballad of daring love actions remembered and casually excused by immaturity. Wilson sings with the wisdom and perspective of age, neither regretting nor apologizing for the past, but simply and honestly recognizing it.

    R.S.V.P won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, but never received the wide exposure it deserved. And “Blame It On My Youth” was its gentle high point. Check it out below. It is our latest SoulTracks Lost Gem.

    By Chris Rizik

     
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