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Anita O'Day: Greatest Hits

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Album Review

This LP documents a typical live performance by Anita O'Day, who was 59 at the time. Although there is some good music (her renditions of Johnny Mandel's "Hershey Bar," "Emily" and "Four Brothers"), there is also a lot of loose chit-chat and filler. Although Nat Hentoff raves about O'Day's performance, this hard-to-find LP, which also features pianist Norman Simmons, bassist Rob Fisher, drummer John Poole and Greg Smith on baritone and flute, is a historical curiosity rather than an essential acquisition.


Born: 18 October 1919 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Few female singers matched the hard-swinging and equally hard-living Anita O'Day for sheer exuberance and talent in all areas of jazz vocals. Though three or four outshone her in pure quality of voice, her splendid improvising, wide dynamic tone, and innate sense of rhythm made her the most enjoyable singer of the age. O'Day's first appearances in a big band shattered the traditional image of a demure female vocalist by swinging just as hard as the other musicians on the bandstand, best heard on...
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Anita O'Day: Greatest Hits, Anita O'Day
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