Turned to Blue (MCG Jazz)

Nancy Wilson

Released August 22, 2006

Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album 2007






This collection of songs tells a story that is very personal for Miss Wilson, and yet, are tunes she has never recorded before. Specifically the songs depict our basic nature to love so deeply, despite the inevitable human struggle with love’s power. Miss Wilson illustrates the many expressions of love, ranging from the powerful lost love in Maya Angelou’s lyric on “Turned To Blue” to the hopeful yearning for new love in the 1940s classic “Be My Love.” This project is third title Miss Wilson has done for the MCG Jazz label.

Title track features lyrics from a poem written by Dr.Maya Angelou Eagerly awaited follow-up to Wilson’s 2005 Grammy winning release Turned To Blue is a classic representation of Nancy Wilson showcasing the full spectrum of her five decade career in entertainment. The legendary songstress delivers a story through ballads as only she can, premieres unparalleled treatments of new songs and swings with a big band harking back to her days with Cannonball Adderley and the Billy May Orchestra. There is something for everyone on Turned To Blue. The title track,’ Turned To Blue,’ spotlights the long relationship Wilson has had with Dr.Maya Angelou, former Poet Laureate for the United States, and features lyrics from her poem,’ My Life Has Turned To Blue.’ This song became the first of four new compositions:’ Turned To Blue,’ ‘Knitting Class,’ ‘These Golden Years’ and Artie Butlers ‘I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up.

Track Listing:

1. This Is All I Ask (Gordon Jenkins) featuring: Bob Mintzer 5:56

2. Take Love Easy (Duke Ellington / John Latouche) featuring: Sean Jones / Llew Matthews 4:30

3. Turned to Blue (Jay Ashby) 4:02

4. Knitting Class (Kaye Lawrence Dunham / Bryce Rohde) featuring: Jimmy Heath 3:53

5. Be My Love (Nicholas Brodszky) featuring: Hubert Laws 3:55

6. Taking a Chance on Love (Vernon Duke / Ted Fetter / John Latouche) 3:17

7. Just Once (Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil) featuring: John Clayton/ Dave Samuels 4:21

8. These Golden Years (D. Channsin Berry / John Proulx) featuring: Tom Scott 6:10

9. I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up (Artie Butler) featuring: Andy Narrell 5:17

10. Old Folks (Dedette Lee Hill / Willard Robison) featuring: Andy Snitzer 5:24

11. I’ll Be Seeing You (Sammy Fain / Irving Kahal) 5:17


Nancy Wilson: vocals

James Moody, Tom Scott, Andy Snitzer, Jimmy Heath, Bob Mintzer: tenor sax

Hubert Laws: flute

Sean Jones: trumpet

John Clayton: bass

Dave Samuels: vibes

Andy Narell: steel pan

Llew Matthews, Dr. Billy Taylor: piano

Recorded October & December, 2005 and January & May, 2006, at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Pittsburgh; Conway Studios; Sony Music Studios, New York City; Audible Images Recording

Producers: Marty Ashby, Jay Ashby

Associate Producer: Renée Govanucci


On Nancy Wilson’s previous album, 2004’s R.S.V.P., the legendary vocalist teamed up with a given instrumentalist on each track. She must have liked the formula, because she’s done it again on Turned to Blue. Here the oft-honored jazz singer leaves room in each number — save for the title track, a Maya Angelou poem set to music and arranged by Jay Ashby — for a different soloist, bringing in such heavyweights as Hubert Laws on flute, saxists Jimmy Heath, Andy Snitzer, Bob Mintzer (who appears to be summoning Stan Getz on the opening number, Gordon Jenkins’ “This Is All I Ask”), James Moody and Tom Scott, pianist Dr. Billy Taylor, and steel pans player Andy Narrell, among others. Working with configurations ranging from classic big band (Duke Ellington’s “Take Love Easy”) to trio-plus-guest-soloist (“Knitting Class”), Wilson applies her seasoned but still flexible pipes to material both old and new, straddling the fence between adult contemporary/pop and the more demanding jazz of her earlier career. Heavy on the ballads, and confined nearly exclusively to love songs, Turned to Bluefinds Nancy Wilson right where she ought to be nearly half a century into her recording career.

Jeff Tamarkin (AllMusic)