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Heart and Soul

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Album Review

This British compilation is subtitled "25 Hits 1932-42," and which is not exactly true, since it features only a handful of Connee Boswell's popular recordings from the period (notably, the Bing Crosby duets "Basin Street Blues" and "Bob White," "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart," "On the Isle of May," and "Sand in My Shoes"). Annotator Peter Dempsey puts it better when he writes that the album contains a "cross-section" of Boswell's "wide-ranging discography." The range extends from ballad standards in orchestral arrangements like "You Forgot to Remember" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me" to jazz dates like "Me Minus You," which features a pickup band led by the Dorsey brothers and a Bunny Berigan trumpet solo, and "Gypsy Love Song" with Bob Crosby's Bob-Cats. Although Boswell was an accomplished torch singer in the tradition of Helen Morgan, one might have wished for more of the jazz material since it shows off her terrific sense of swing, which influenced a generation of singers, especially Ella Fitzgerald. Still, at 75½ minutes, this collection is an excellent single-disc sampler.


Born: December 03, 1907 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

One of the finest jazz singers of the 1930s, Connee Boswell (who was always cited by Ella Fitzgerald as her main early influence) originally rose to fame as a member of the Boswell Sisters, one of the premiere jazz vocal groups. Boswell contracted polio as an infant and always used a wheelchair, although her disability was usually well covered up on-stage. Early on she played cello, piano, alto sax, and trombone but unfortunately never recorded on any instruments. The three Boswell Sisters (with...
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