Dodo Greene - My Hour Of Need (1962)

Dodo Greene was a R&B-inflected jazz vocalist who only recorded a handful of dates during the early '60s. Her one major record was My Hour of Need, a session she cut in 1962 with an impressive stable of Blue Note artists, including Ike Quebec, Grant Green, Herbie Lewis, Milt Hinton, Billy Higgins, and Al Harewood. Greene was the first vocalist Blue Note signed to an exclusive contract, and she was also one of the few vocalist's the label signed during the '60s, which suggests the lack of success the record achieved.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Greene began singing as a child. She continued to sing throughout her teens, although she was planning a career in medicine. Her first big break arrived when she filled in for a sick vocalist in Cozy Cole's band. He asked her to join his group, but she refused. Eventually, she decided to pursue a career in music and began singing regularly at venues along the East Coast, as well as Chicago. Slowly, she built up a following among audiences and fellow vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington, and was able to play venues in London and Germany.

Greene recorded her first album for Time Records shortly before she signed to Blue Note in 1962. In April, she recorded the material that comprised My Hour of Need. Five months later, she returned to the studios to cut a follow-up session. Evidently, My Hour of Need was not a success since those recordings, along with a session she recorded in November, remained unreleased until the 1996 CD reissue of My Hour of Need. Greene faded away from the spotlight in the years following the release of her lone Blue Note album. There is no apparent record of her recording again, but she did continue to perform into the early 2000s, mostly at the Anchor Bar -- home of the original Buffalo wing -- in Buffalo, NY. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

This set was a very unusual release for Blue Note. Greene's mixture of R&B and soulful blues in a voice very reminiscent of late-period Dinah Washington is much more pop and blues-oriented than the music on any other Blue Note release from the period. What other Blue Note album has a full program of soul ballads clocking in between three to five minutes apiece? 

Although Dodo Greene (who had recorded one slightly earlier record for Time) was apparently signed to an exclusive contract, her only other Blue Note session (six of its nine numbers conclude this CD) had never been previously released. In reality, the main reason to acquire the relaxed set is for the warm tenor of Ike Quebec (who is perfect in this setting) and the occasional guitar of Grant Green. A true obscurity.

John Adriano Acea (piano)
Eddie Chamblee (saxophone)
Jual Curtis (drums)
Grant Green (guitar)

Dodo Greene (vocals)
Al Harewood (drums)
Billy Higgins (drums)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Herbie Lewis (bass)
Wendell Marshall (bass)

Ike Quebec (saxophone)
Sir Charles Thompson (organ)

Rare Blue Note singles from 1962

01. My Hour Of Need (Kosloff)  4.54
02. Trouble in My Mind (Jones) 4:45
03. You Are My Sunshine (Davis/Mitchell) 3:00
04. I'll Never Stop Loving You (Cahn/Brodszky) 4:01
05. I Won't Cry Anymore (Frisch/Wise) 3:45
06. Lonesome Road (Shilkret/Austin) 4:13
07. Let There Be Love (Grant/Rand) 3:28
08. There Must Be A Way (Saxon/Gallop) 3:29
09. Down by the Riverside Jordan) 4:06
10. Little Things Mean A Lot (Lindeman/Strutz) 4:06
11. You Don't Know Me (Walker) 2:44
12. No One Tear (Bell) 3:03
13. I Hear (Duke) 3:37
14. Time After Time (Cahn/Styne) 3:32
15. Everybody's Happy But Me (Cheatham/Fields) 3:10
16. Jazz in My Soul (unknown) 2:38

ARMU 2398
ARMU 2398 (zippyshare)