Tuesday, 6 May 2008


I love the jazz divas of yester-year. These aren't the pompous wannabe divas of today, who can barely hold and tune and can't spit out their own gum without an assistant to dispose of it for them. These are ladies of true elegance and style, who often defeated the odds to carve out their place in musical history, and who ooze talent and class beyond belief.

I've been building up my jazz collection recently and came across this 5-CD set featuring Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington, Carol Sloane, and Carmen McRae. I would have thought it'd have made sense for Sarah Vaughan to be part of this collection, but she's missing in action. I was surprised at the inclusion of Carol Sloane, and also raised an eyebrow at some of Lena Horne's arrangements, but really enjoy the rich, mellow sound of these ladies at their best.

I've smiled at Ella's and Billie's versions of "Tenderly", having first become acquainted with this piece via Dr Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, the resident Muppet Show band. To give these artists their due, all three versions are certainly played tenderly. ;-)

No comments: