Off Topic Messages

Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:24 pm

Lately I've been on a blues and jazz "trip", listening to people like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, even some Marilyn Monroe.
Not to mention some of the great blues ladies like Bessie Smith or Etta James.

I find that I usually go for male singers and bands, apparently, but these ladies I love as well. Especially the lazy-morning-after-down-and-out style of song.

Some of my favorites: Black Coffee by Peggy Lee, Good Morning Heartache by Billie Holiday, I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl by Nina Simone and I'm Through With Love by Marilyn Monroe.

Anyone else appreciates them?

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:52 pm

I have quite a few LP's of Anita O'Day and Julie London.

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:11 pm

James27 wrote:Lately I've been on a blues and jazz "trip", listening to people like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, even some Marilyn Monroe.
Not to mention some of the great blues ladies like Bessie Smith or Etta James.

I find that I usually go for male singers and bands, apparently, but these ladies I love as well. Especially the lazy-morning-after-down-and-out style of song.

Some of my favorites: Black Coffee by Peggy Lee, Good Morning Heartache by Billie Holiday, I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl by Nina Simone and I'm Through With Love by Marilyn Monroe.

Anyone else appreciates them?


The work by these ladies is quite remarkable and, in many cases, even more remarkable when they reached an age when their voices weren't in tip-top condition. Ella Fitzgerald's voice might have been as smooth as silk during the first years at Decca, but as she reached middle-age, her voice gained a rougher, edgier quality that was not there before and allowed her to really wail, mixing both gospel and soul sounds into her range. Check out this performance by Ella with Duke Ellington in 1966:

phpBB [video]



It's miles away from the studio recording of the same song the year before. It's worth adding that these concerts with Ellington (they toured together for a couple of years in the mid-1960s) are great experiences and a fair amount of them has been released, most notably The Stockholm Concert (1966) which is thoroughly recommended if you're interested in two jazz legends having a blast. As for Ella, much of her work for Pablo records from 1972 until the end of her life is forgotten because she often wasn't in wonderful voice, but Ella had such a brilliant imagination that she could work around that issue with ease, and her singing was often more inventive because of her vocal issues. Check out this version of The Man I Love from a 1974 Tv Special (filmed in a recording studio without an audience). Her voice has lost the smoothness of her previous versions, and her voice strains at times (it improved again the following year), but the arrangement is far more jazz-oriented - as is her whole Pablo cannon (check out the duets with guitarist Joe Pass as well).

phpBB [video]



phpBB [video]



Washington always had that rough edge, of course, and her final years were not her best, drifting into orchestral arrangments that didn't have the bluesy element of her best work. Simone's later work suffers from on-stage eccentricities and variable vocal quality, but she had a lovely run during the mid-1980s - the Hamburg 1983 concert (only available on bootleg) has possibly her best version of Sugar in my Bowl, and the filmed performance at Ronnie Scott's is rightfully highly praised, even if Simone is in surprisingly reflective mood. The Let It be Me album from 1987 is awful, however, although A Single Woman from 1992 (her final album) is really rather nice, even if it's atypical of most of her work. Years of ill health had taken its toll, but as this 1992 TV appearance shows, when she was healthy and happy she could still do wonderful work. It's also worth noting that there is a wonderful 9-disc CD set of Nina's RCA albums out at the moment at a very good price (or, at least, it is in the UK) of £25 or thereabouts.

phpBB [video]

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:33 pm

James27 wrote:Lately I've been on a blues and jazz "trip", listening to people like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, even some Marilyn Monroe.
Not to mention some of the great blues ladies like Bessie Smith or Etta James.

I find that I usually go for male singers and bands, apparently, but these ladies I love as well. Especially the lazy-morning-after-down-and-out style of song.

Some of my favorites: Black Coffee by Peggy Lee, Good Morning Heartache by Billie Holiday, I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl by Nina Simone and I'm Through With Love by Marilyn Monroe.

Anyone else appreciates them?


I love all those ladies you mentioned especially Dinah & Etta! Also give a listen to LaVern Baker. Check out the her version of Tomorrow Night.

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Wow, it seems you know your stuff! I like Billie Holiday's performance of Fine and Mellow a lot, too, although it doesn't feature her greatest vocal. But the expression and the great musicians make this very worthwhile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtgUbJN8oPE

Only songs I really know by Ella are some of the most familiar like Everytime we say goodbye.. I am going to delve into her repertoire deeper.
But I do have some lovely duets with her and Louis Armstrong (from the American Icon box set of Armstrong - Hip-o Records).

poormadpeter wrote:
James27 wrote:Lately I've been on a blues and jazz "trip", listening to people like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, even some Marilyn Monroe.
Not to mention some of the great blues ladies like Bessie Smith or Etta James.

I find that I usually go for male singers and bands, apparently, but these ladies I love as well. Especially the lazy-morning-after-down-and-out style of song.

Some of my favorites: Black Coffee by Peggy Lee, Good Morning Heartache by Billie Holiday, I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl by Nina Simone and I'm Through With Love by Marilyn Monroe.

Anyone else appreciates them?


The work by these ladies is quite remarkable and, in many cases, even more remarkable when they reached an age when their voices weren't in tip-top condition. Ella Fitzgerald's voice might have been as smooth as silk during the first years at Decca, but as she reached middle-age, her voice gained a rougher, edgier quality that was not there before and allowed her to really wail, mixing both gospel and soul sounds into her range. Check out this performance by Ella with Duke Ellington in 1966:

phpBB [video]



It's miles away from the studio recording of the same song the year before. It's worth adding that these concerts with Ellington (they toured together for a couple of years in the mid-1960s) are great experiences and a fair amount of them has been released, most notably The Stockholm Concert (1966) which is thoroughly recommended if you're interested in two jazz legends having a blast. As for Ella, much of her work for Pablo records from 1972 until the end of her life is forgotten because she often wasn't in wonderful voice, but Ella had such a brilliant imagination that she could work around that issue with ease, and her singing was often more inventive because of her vocal issues. Check out this version of The Man I Love from a 1974 Tv Special (filmed in a recording studio without an audience). Her voice has lost the smoothness of her previous versions, and her voice strains at times (it improved again the following year), but the arrangement is far more jazz-oriented - as is her whole Pablo cannon (check out the duets with guitarist Joe Pass as well).

phpBB [video]



phpBB [video]



Washington always had that rough edge, of course, and her final years were not her best, drifting into orchestral arrangments that didn't have the bluesy element of her best work. Simone's later work suffers from on-stage eccentricities and variable vocal quality, but she had a lovely run during the mid-1980s - the Hamburg 1983 concert (only available on bootleg) has possibly her best version of Sugar in my Bowl, and the filmed performance at Ronnie Scott's is rightfully highly praised, even if Simone is in surprisingly reflective mood. The Let It be Me album from 1987 is awful, however, although A Single Woman from 1992 (her final album) is really rather nice, even if it's atypical of most of her work. Years of ill health had taken its toll, but as this 1992 TV appearance shows, when she was healthy and happy she could still do wonderful work. It's also worth noting that there is a wonderful 9-disc CD set of Nina's RCA albums out at the moment at a very good price (or, at least, it is in the UK) of £25 or thereabouts.

phpBB [video]

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:28 pm

I will have to check her out! 8)

r&b wrote:
James27 wrote:Lately I've been on a blues and jazz "trip", listening to people like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, even some Marilyn Monroe.
Not to mention some of the great blues ladies like Bessie Smith or Etta James.

I find that I usually go for male singers and bands, apparently, but these ladies I love as well. Especially the lazy-morning-after-down-and-out style of song.

Some of my favorites: Black Coffee by Peggy Lee, Good Morning Heartache by Billie Holiday, I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl by Nina Simone and I'm Through With Love by Marilyn Monroe.

Anyone else appreciates them?


I love all those ladies you mentioned especially Dinah & Etta! Also give a listen to LaVern Baker. Check out the her version of Tomorrow Night.

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:02 am

The Ella/Louis albums of 1956/7 are classics of their jazz-for-everyone kind.

The songbook series by Ella are difficult as they are the most well-known of her recordings, but often the most square as well, and rarely venture into jazz territory really. The Cole Porter songbook is her most famous album, but Buddy Bregman's arrangements are often really quite dull, and I feel the album only really comes alive during the trio cuts.

Ella's live albums are generally her best, and it's difficult to go wrong with Ella In Berlin, Ella In Hollywood, The Stockholm Concert and Montreux '75. As for studio albums, check out Whisper Not (if you can find it) or Fine And Mellow, as you like Holiday's version of the song - and it also features the arrangement of The Man I Love that I posted earlier. Don't be fooled by the hideous cover, it's a great album!

That TV show with Holiday is a wonderful show, and well worth finding in its complete form if you can. Here it is on youtube, but there is a better print floating around I think:

phpBB [video]



I can't confess to knowing Holiday's catalogue particularly well, but there is much to enjoy although some of the final albums can be a bit of a hard slog. The live set at the Stratford Festival in 1957 is a good listen though - even to a relatively non-fan such as myself.

Also, if you like jazz in general, keep a look out for Jazz At The Santa Monica Civic '72. This was a concert billed as Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald, but Norman Granz, the organiser, surprised the audience by also inviting along a number of jazz greats such as Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson and Roy Eldridge and an impromptu jam session takes place. It's a wonderful concert, a really joyous event, with Ella singing clearly loving being back on stage after an absence for a while due to ill health. The first disc is the Basie band's set, the second is the jam session and Oscar Peterson's number, and the third is all Ella, with her set ranging from jazz classics to I Can't Stop Loving You, Whats Goin' On and You've Got A Friend. It's a show guaranteed to put a smile on your face. If only it had been filmed! The finale to the show (C Jam Blues) is below:

phpBB [video]

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:57 am

I appreciate all the great Blues and Jazz ladies.
They all have their place in music history.

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:22 am

I have a number of the great female "Classic Blues" and some jazz-oriented female artists in my collection. I've listened to them all, and it's great stuff. I always wonder, though, what it is about ME (not them), that keeps me from really digging them as I do (mostly male) R&B/Rock(/n'Roll) or gospel artists. I guess I'll never understand it: perhaps I'm letting the context intrude -- the whole musical-social context that had validated this music. I don't know. I wish I could get into it more - enjoy it more than I do, rather than just "appreciating" it.

I guess the answer is just to listen: keep listening, until you let yourself hear the music.

rjm

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:43 pm

Thanks for this great info!!

poormadpeter wrote:The Ella/Louis albums of 1956/7 are classics of their jazz-for-everyone kind.

The songbook series by Ella are difficult as they are the most well-known of her recordings, but often the most square as well, and rarely venture into jazz territory really. The Cole Porter songbook is her most famous album, but Buddy Bregman's arrangements are often really quite dull, and I feel the album only really comes alive during the trio cuts.

Ella's live albums are generally her best, and it's difficult to go wrong with Ella In Berlin, Ella In Hollywood, The Stockholm Concert and Montreux '75. As for studio albums, check out Whisper Not (if you can find it) or Fine And Mellow, as you like Holiday's version of the song - and it also features the arrangement of The Man I Love that I posted earlier. Don't be fooled by the hideous cover, it's a great album!

That TV show with Holiday is a wonderful show, and well worth finding in its complete form if you can. Here it is on youtube, but there is a better print floating around I think:

phpBB [video]



I can't confess to knowing Holiday's catalogue particularly well, but there is much to enjoy although some of the final albums can be a bit of a hard slog. The live set at the Stratford Festival in 1957 is a good listen though - even to a relatively non-fan such as myself.

Also, if you like jazz in general, keep a look out for Jazz At The Santa Monica Civic '72. This was a concert billed as Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald, but Norman Granz, the organiser, surprised the audience by also inviting along a number of jazz greats such as Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson and Roy Eldridge and an impromptu jam session takes place. It's a wonderful concert, a really joyous event, with Ella singing clearly loving being back on stage after an absence for a while due to ill health. The first disc is the Basie band's set, the second is the jam session and Oscar Peterson's number, and the third is all Ella, with her set ranging from jazz classics to I Can't Stop Loving You, Whats Goin' On and You've Got A Friend. It's a show guaranteed to put a smile on your face. If only it had been filmed! The finale to the show (C Jam Blues) is below:

phpBB [video]

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:56 pm

I think I know what you mean. If I compare my guys' stuff with my ladies' stuff, to put it bluntly, it's clear I favour the guys' music more. But women have produced wonderful music, and I consider myself just discovering it, beyond the usual (commercial) classics by these ladies. I noticed, also, that I tend to subconsciously love music performed by black artists more than white music. I like my blues guitar playing better from Albert and Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Guitar Walker than many of the British guitar heroes, for example.

There are obvious exceptions: Elvis of course, but also Sinatra, Dusty Springfield... But these are also artists that incorporate black elements into their music, be it the rhythm or something else. 8)

rjm wrote:I have a number of the great female "Classic Blues" and some jazz-oriented female artists in my collection. I've listened to them all, and it's great stuff. I always wonder, though, what it is about ME (not them), that keeps me from really digging them as I do (mostly male) R&B/Rock(/n'Roll) or gospel artists. I guess I'll never understand it: perhaps I'm letting the context intrude -- the whole musical-social context that had validated this music. I don't know. I wish I could get into it more - enjoy it more than I do, rather than just "appreciating" it.

I guess the answer is just to listen: keep listening, until you let yourself hear the music.

rjm

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:33 pm

Oddly, when it comes to jazz singing, I generally prefer the ladies rather than the gents. Of the male jazz singers (if we discount the Sinatra-style as swing and not jazz), I would probably most listen to someone like Chet Baker, but he has a distinctly feminine sounding voice anyway. Even Mel Torme isn't exactly "butch!" But really most of the great jazz singers are female anyway, other than Torme, there is no-one out there to really touch Ella, Nina and Sarah Vaughan & Co. It's with big band/swing singers such as Sinatra, Darin, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett etc that they guys seem to take over.

As for RJM's not quite digging them - well, it's just taste. Just because it's good doesn't mean you have to like it. I can appreciate that Dickens was a great writer, but I can't say I sit down with Dickens out of choice.

Re: Anyone appreciate the great Blues and Jazz ladies ?

Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:13 pm

Chet Baker... I discovered him about 20 years ago, when a jazz lover let me hear some of his records. "My Funny Valentine" was among the first of course. Chet Baker Sings and Chet Baker Plays are albums I still listen to, from time to time, when I'm in the mood. A very intruiging, haunted person. "You Don't Know What Love Is" is my favorite of his.