11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1998, Linda Ronstadt returned to her book of beloved jazz standards—which had helped invigorate her career in the '80s—but Hummin’ to Myself is distinctly different from her previous orchestral collaborations with Nelson Riddle. By using a small combo instead of a studio orchestra, Ronstadt gives her voice more room to maneuver. One of the album’s greatest assets is her ability to use blank space to intensify an emotion. The yearning and flirtation that's always been part of Ronstadt’s persona touches her renditions of torch songs like “Tell Him I Said Hello” and “Cry Me a River,” which are delivered as clandestine messages of seduction rather than expressions of self-woe. While the album is notable for its moments of lightness and intimacy, Ronstadt’s voice still has an irrepressible urgency that's closer in spirit to rock 'n' roll than to jazz. Witness “I Fall in Love Too Easily” and “Blue Prelude”; her voice soars high above the band's gentle murmurs, giving listeners a glimpse of uncontrolled desires just barely restrained by the classy setting.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1998, Linda Ronstadt returned to her book of beloved jazz standards—which had helped invigorate her career in the '80s—but Hummin’ to Myself is distinctly different from her previous orchestral collaborations with Nelson Riddle. By using a small combo instead of a studio orchestra, Ronstadt gives her voice more room to maneuver. One of the album’s greatest assets is her ability to use blank space to intensify an emotion. The yearning and flirtation that's always been part of Ronstadt’s persona touches her renditions of torch songs like “Tell Him I Said Hello” and “Cry Me a River,” which are delivered as clandestine messages of seduction rather than expressions of self-woe. While the album is notable for its moments of lightness and intimacy, Ronstadt’s voice still has an irrepressible urgency that's closer in spirit to rock 'n' roll than to jazz. Witness “I Fall in Love Too Easily” and “Blue Prelude”; her voice soars high above the band's gentle murmurs, giving listeners a glimpse of uncontrolled desires just barely restrained by the classy setting.

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