Thanks to jazz historian and reissue producer extraordinaire Michael Cuscuna, we now have one of June Christy's finest albums, BALLADS FOR NIGHT PEOPLE, once again in print.
By 1959, Christy was comfortably ensconced at Capitol Records, with a string of superb, ambitious and solid-selling albums, most recorded with collaborator Pete Rugolo, under her belt. With success assured, perhaps by this time, then, she felt free to depart from the Christy-Rugolo mold, because 1959's BALLADS FOR NIGHT PEOPLE finds the singer in the hands of husband Bob Cooper, himself a virtuoso musician and former Kenton player.
Clearly, the intimacy that Christy and Cooper shared in their personal lives carried over into this project: the song selection as well as Cooper's delicate arrangements are particularly lovely, even fragile at times, incorporating such elements as flute and harp, and all recorded over a tangible studio silence that is tranquil and deeply romantic. Cooper's arrangements such as those on "My Ship" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" are a far cry from Rugolo's bold and often blaring charts which at times tip perilously close toward controlled cacophony.
Production of this reissue is first-rate, with its 24-bit remastering and faithful reproduction of the original album artwork. Notable, too, is Cuscuna's inclusion of 5 Christy tracks from the album DO RE MI which likely would not be a commercially viable reissue on its own (the unfortunate truth).
So pick up a copy of BALLADS FOR NIGHT PEOPLE. Then go home, dim the lights, pour yourself a drink and explore the sounds of nighttime with June Christy.