Until her passing earlier this year, Etta James remained one of the best jazz, soul and blues vocalists around. While in her later years she rarely recaptured the form that first impressed listeners during her '60s and '70s heyday, she was still capable of great things. Those unfamiliar with her immense vocal skills would be well advised to check this timely reissue of The Second Time Around, her 1961 sophomore album for Chess subsidiary Chess. Like her debut album, At Last, it sees her using her powerful, emotion-rich voice to cover a series of jazz and pop standards. There are plenty of memorable moments, not least her upbeat, soaring version of "Seven Day Fool" and the tender "Don't Cry Baby".
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