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Back Home Again

Lee Wiley

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Album Review

Fourteen years after her last record, singer Lee Wiley came back for one final studio recording. Although she does a good job on "Indiana" and "I'm Coming, Virginia" and the backup band (which includes trumpeter Rusty Dedrick, clarinetist Johnny Mince, trombonist Buddy Morrow, and pianist Dick Hyman) is excellent, in general this is a disappointing LP. Wiley's voice was no longer in its prime and, although her distinctive phrasing was still intact, her earlier sessions are far superior while her final Carnegie Hall recording is much more emotional and historic. This album is only recommended to Lee Wiley completists. [The CD version released by Audiophile tacks on a 1965 demo session recorded with Joe Bushkin.]

Biography

Born: 09 October 1910 in Fort Gibson, OK

Genre: Jazz

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

Her husky, surprisingly sensual voice and exquisitely cool readings of pop standards distinguished her singing, but Lee Wiley earns notice as one of the best early jazz singers by recognizing the superiority of American popular song and organizing a set of songs around a common composer or theme — later popularized as the songbook or concept LP. She was also a songwriter in her own right, and one of the few white vocalists with more respect in the jazz community than the popular one. Even more...
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Back Home Again, Lee Wiley
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