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Anita Sings the Most

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Album Review

Anita O'Day recorded many rewarding albums in the 1950s when her voice was at its strongest, and this collaboration with the Oscar Peterson Quartet (comprised of pianist Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer John Poole) may very well be her best. Not only is the backup swinging, giving a Jazz at the Philharmonic feel to some of the songs, but O'Day proves that she could keep up with Peterson. "Them There Eyes" is taken successfully at a ridiculously fast tempo, yet the singer displays a great deal of warmth on such ballads as "We'll Be Together Again" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." While Peterson and Ellis have some solos, O'Day is never overshadowed (which is saying a lot) and is clearly inspired by their presence. The very brief playing time (just 33 minutes) is unfortunate on this set, but the high quality definitely makes up for the lack of quantity. A gem.


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 Sings the Most, Anita O'Day
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