Ernie Andrews: Don't You Know I Care


Don't You Know I Care


Ernie Andrews (vocals)


No Regrets (Muse 5484)

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Ernie Andrews (vocals), Houston Person (tenor sax), Junior Mance (piano),

Jimmy Ponder (guitar), Ray Drummond (bass), Michael Carvin (drums)


Composed by Duke Ellington & Mack David


Recorded: New York, August 26, 1992


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Ernie Andrews was part of the vibrant Central Avenue jazz scene in Los Angeles during the 1940s, which he and other talking (and singing) heads discuss in the 1989 documentary Blues for Central Avenue. His high school classmates included Dexter Gordon, Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus, Sonny Criss and Teddy Edwards, and while he had a couple of minor hit records early on, stardom eluded him despite recording with Benny Carter's orchestra in the '50s and Cannonball Adderley in the '60s. He began a comeback of sorts in the '80s, and 1992's No Regrets offers one of the better overviews of both his ballad and blues shouting styles.

"Don't You Know I Care" was introduced by Al Hibbler in 1944. Mance's winsome intro sets the stage for Andrews's authoritative and assured, drawn-out initial query: "Dontcha know ... I care ... or don't you care to know?" His voice seems to embody the best qualities of Hibbler, Big Joe Turner and Billy Eckstine, although Andrews himself cited Billy Daniels and Herb Jeffries as major influences. Person's obbligatos, as well as Mance, Drummond and Carvin's sensitive, unobtrusive support, help make this an essential Andrews track, not to mention the successive soulful improvisations by Person, Drummond and Mance. It is Andrews, however, who keeps the listener enthralled with his velvety smooth, naturally expressive delivery, down-to-earth yet sophisticated. A polished pro, who's still going strong today in his 80s.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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