Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Blues Monday – Julie London

Despite nearly featuring in my “Sunday Jazz” series Julie London wasn’t really a jazz singer, but she possessed a definite jazz feeling and many of her finest albums (such as Julie Is Her Name and Julie…At Home) feature small-group jazz backings.

In a similar vibe her “About The Blues” wasn’t really aimed at the true “blues” market but was aimed at the 1950s pop market, but it may just be her best orchestral session. Since downbeat torch songs were London’s specialty, the album features an excellent selection of nocturnal but classy blues songs that play to her subtle strengths instead of against them. So as she sings below she had the view that “I Gotta A Right To Sing The Blues”

Julie usually included a couple of new songs in with a selection of standards, and her husband, Bobby Troup, wrote two excellent numbers for the album. One of them, the emotionally devastating “Meaning of the Blues,” is the album’s highlight, and was turned into a jazz standard after Miles Davis recorded it the same year for Miles Ahead.

To buy the music of Julie London click HERE

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June 27, 2011 Posted by | Blues, Jazz Vocal, Old Music | , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – The Nat King Cole Trio

Almost a perfect Sunday Album.

The smoky, smooth pop vocals of Nat King Cole make us tend to forget that, at heart, he was essentially a jazz performer. His piano proficiency, vocal phrasing, and utter coolness all hark back to his jazz roots which are ideally demonstrated on this album.

Listening to him as pianist and not just as a vocalist, it is easy to understand why Diana Krall rates him as her primary influence, to the extent of recording a whole album in tribute to him and his Trio.

Nobody could sing “Sweet Lorraine” like Nat and he recorded it several times, the first with his Trio in December of 1943.  After Nat evolved into more of a “singer” than a “piano player” in the 1950’s, his jazz audience clamored for more of the “old Nat”, and he obliged with the series of recordings which make up the “After Midnight” album.

During August and September of 1956, Nat invited some guest musicians in with him to re-record some of the old Nat King Cole Trio hits from the 40’s like “Sweet Lorraine”.  In this instance, the great Count Basie sideman, Harry “Sweets” Edison took the honors on his trumpet.

Included was this version of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66” unusual in the way that Nat sings “six six” and not the original “sixty six”

“Route 66” – Nat King Cole and his Trio

 

 

to buy the music of Nat King Cole click HERE

June 19, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

   

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