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Lilian Terry

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Although not well-known in the United States, veteran jazz singer Lilian Terry has been a fixture on the European jazz scene for decades. Terry, a thoughtful and expressive interpreter of lyrics, isn't an aggressive, forceful type of vocalist; subtlety, restraint, softness, and understatement are among the things that characterize Terry, whose influences have included, among others, Billie Holiday, Astrud Gilberto, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald (specifically, Fitzgerald's softer side). In European jazz circles, Terry is known for her ability to sing in more than one language; Terry has performed in English as well as Portuguese, French, Spanish, and even Arabic -- a language she was first exposed to as a child. Terry was born in Cairo, Egypt, where Arabic is the primary language; subsequently, she moved to Europe and spent a long time in Italy (where she gave birth to her son, jazz pianist Francesco Crosara, in 1960) before eventually moving to France. Unfortunately, Terry has recorded infrequently over the years. In the '80s she recorded a few LPs for Italy's Soul Note label, including Dream Comes True (which came out in 1982 and employed Tommy Flanagan on piano) and Oo-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be...Oo, Oo...Oo, Oo (a 1985 release that boasted Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet). After a long absence from the studio, Terry recorded Emotions (which Crosara produced) in 2000; the album was released by TCB (a Swiss label) in 2003. ~ Alex Henderson

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