The Bebop Shop : Body & Soul: Billie, Ella & The Great Jazz Voices : Anita O'Day
Born in Chicago, Anita ODay cut her musical teeth in the 1940s playing with the Gene Krupa Band and the Stan Kenton Band during which time she had her first widespread successes with And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine and Tampico which allowed her to head out on her own as a single act.
Using a wide range of musical accompanists including the Oscar Peterson Trio, Barney Kessel Jimmy Rowles, Tal Farlow and Roy Eldridge, our four classic albums highlight a unique singing talent that put Anita up there with Billie, Ella and Mildred Bailey and went on to influence such great singers as June Christy and Chris Connor. All four albums have been digitally re-mastered for probably the finest sound quality ever! (AVID Entertainment) Price: £8.99
What a combination for our first selection from 1959, Anita ODay joining forces with top arranger Billy May to sing songs from one of the great American songbooks, "Anita ODay Swings Cole Porter With Billy May". As Ms ODay is quoted from the original liner notes
.."Man, its a ball"
. "jazz to me is singing what is happening now
.and these songs have never sounded more of the moment". "At Mister Kellys" finds us in a live setting in Chicago in 1958 where we can witness Anita both swinging hard and catch her wry sense of humour as she tackles many little known and thus fresh new material. "Singin And Swingin with Anita ODay" takes us back to 1947 to hear Anitas first efforts as a soloist. As the original liner notes attest
."although they are early recordings they vibrate with a deep- throated husky voice which has become famous". Moving forward to 1961 for "Travlin Light" the original liner notes are full of the story of Anitas comeback after a period of great personal trouble. As quoted
.. "she rebounded in the late Fifties
.she emerged as a different ODay
her singing had changed
she reflected considerable discipline without sacrificing the inventiveness and warmth that were so much a part of her style". For our final selection, "All The Sad Young Men" we offer a 1961 Down Beat quote from the original liner notes that we feel pretty much sums up Anitas jazz journey from young fire cracker to mature performer. "Her singing mellows and matures as the years pass. Today she remains one of the very few practitioners of the jazz art. And she makes it all sound so simple"
All five albums plus have been digitally re-mastered. (AVID Entertainment) Price: £8.99
"Anita ODay and Billy May Swing Rodgers & Hart"; "Anita ODay & The Three Sounds"; "Anita ODay Sings The Winners"; "Time For Two" plus seven singles. Price: £8.99
Coupled with this comes an outing with striking arrangements by Gary McFarland, one of the brightest composer/arrangers to emerge from the 60s scene. Although it includes well worn standards the highlights are new songs by young composers. (Discovery Records) Price: £12.99
Miss ODay treats this handful of great evergreen songs in her usual compelling manner and with innate musicianship. She was gifted with a wide vocal range. She sang smoothly without strain, and remained consistently impressive in projection, phrasing, and flexibility. (Discovery Records) Price: £12.99
Two talented and utterly dissimilar arrangers contributed the imaginatively varied scores for these sessions, the first two by Buddy Bregman, the last three by Jimmy Giuffre. Reveling in the settings - the difference between hot and cool - Anita ODay has a great time, not only on the swinging tunes, to which she contributes some trademark, zestful, inventive scatting, but also in singing ballads with a sure touch.
Backing her, Bregman and Giuffre used some of the finest Hollywood jazzmen, with Stan Getz particularly warm and lyrical on I Never Had a Chance. These are probably the best jazz sides recorded by Anita ODay in the Fifties, and if you enjoy vocal records in the slightest bit, do yourself a favour and get this one. (Discovery Records) Price: £12.99