She would never forget her apprenticeship years with Benny Goodman, said Peggy Lee in the Fifties. And indeed she has no need to do so! Anyone who has learned swing from the 'King of Swing', or survived being on tour for more than two years, and then worked hard to appear at America's top show-business venues has deserved the highest recognition and praise. The musical scene provided a further niche for the talents of the blonde from Jamestown, North Dakota who never once regretted having left her provincial nest for the bright lights and glamour of Hollywood: the pawning of a wristwatch to get there was her best investment!The twelve songs on the present DECCA LP, recorded 1953 and 1956, are either adaptations of blues numbers or are taken from the Great American Songbook and here Peggy Lee's immense vocal flexibility and the wonderful quality of her soft timbre are more than evident. This particularly holds true for the slow numbers in which she proves to be a true master of the role of a diva: ballads are sung huskily and gently while Cole Porter's and Richard Rodger's musical hits swing along with verve.All in all, this LP is a real gem - and not just for fans of vocal jazz and swing, but also for lovers of Broadway melodies. What is more, the recording quality of American DECCA is, again, astonishingly good..