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Anita O'Day's Finest Hour

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Album Review

Part of the Verve Finest Hour series, this 18-song compilation features highlights from jazz vocalist Anita O'Day. Not only was O'Day a dynamic presence in her own right, but she was surrounded by some of the top names in jazz. Her memorable association with trumpeter Roy Eldridge is represented on "Let Me Off Uptown" along with versions of "Honeysuckle Rose," "Tea for Two," "When Sunny Gets Blue," "Peel Me a Grape," "Them There Eyes," and "Sweet Georgia Brown." This isn't a complete picture of O'Day's career, which spans several decades, but it does make a nice sampler at a budget price.


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's Finest Hour, Anita O'Day
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