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Barbara Lea

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Album Review

Singer Barbara Lea's second album is pretty definitive of her early years. Lea is joined by the great (but ill fated and largely forgotten) trumpeter Johnny Windhurst, Dick Cary on either piano or alto horn, sometimes pianist Richard Lowman, guitarist Al Casamenti, bassist Al Hall, and drummer Osie Johnson. Originally a dozen selections, the CD reissue adds an alternate take and an additional title. Lea remains true to the lyrics yet uplifts the material, while the rhythm section swings lightly. Among the many highlights are "Nobody Else but You," "I'm Comin' Virginia," "My Honey's Lovin' Arms," and "Baltimore Oriole." Delightful music by a singer who deserves to be celebrated.


Born: 10 April 1929 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An excellent singer who was associated with swing and Dixieland, Barbara Lea never broke through with the general public, but she recorded quite a few worthy albums. She sang with Detroit dance orchestras while in school, performed with the college jazz band (the Crimson Stompers) at Harvard, and worked on the East Coast in the 1950s. She recorded for Riverside (1955) and Prestige (1956-1957), using such sidemen as trumpeter Johnny Windhurst and pianists Billy Taylor and Dick Hyman. In the 1960s,...
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