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iTunes Review

Anita is Anita O’Day’s inaugural release for Verve, the label that would serve as her creative home base for the prime years of her career. Immediately the album establishes that O’Day is not like other singers. She is trained in swing, but spiritually attuned to bebop. Even though the program is comprised of popular songs intended to appeal to a mainstream audience, O’Day emits something that is opposed to the ordinary, the obvious, the complacent. She sings with a natural grace and a songbird’s innate sense of mobility and melody. And yet, like some songbirds, O’Day is unpredictable, always ready to spring tricks on the listener — always ready to fly just beyond, or slightly out of bounds. Anita remains a must-have for all O’Day fans — and fans of ‘50s vocal jazz in general — but part of its appeal is its subversiveness. Between these buoyant melodies and momentous arrangements (courtesy of Buddy Bregman, longtime O’Day associate) the listener can sense the flavor of something deeply personal — hints of complex sour amidst sweet notes.

Customer Reviews


Beware: The ALBUM REVIEW posted with this album is for a different, four-disk set! (Apple, please remove my "review" when you fix that.)

TRUE LOVE. Superb-bravo-one of the finest jazz statements!!!!!

This is an absolutely perfect record in every way. This is a must have! A just the most touching performance that I have heard in years. I really really LOVE this record. You're the Top is so swinging with her own lyrics added!

The itunes description (ALBUM REVIEW listed by itunes) is for a different record, basically not the correct review or Info for this record. Here are the original liner notes description by Verve from the actual release in 1955.
Album notes from the original LP:

Few vocalists in our time merit the compliment of "singer's singer" so thoroughly as Miss Anita O'Day. It is a double-sided compliment, of course.On the face of it, the phrase "singer's singer",which is to say one very much admired by others in the trade listeners. It can also mean something infinitely more subtle‚that the people who have been hearing the singer (outside of the other singers) haven¼

With Anita, the stuff is there, it's mellow and it's waiting. And, with this album at hand, all anyone need do is keep the ears open. Open wider, at that, than when listening to the millrun of popular singers around today since there is so much more to hear. For one thing, not only does Anita O'Day create an extra-ordinarily happy sound, vocally, she believes firmly in telling a story in her songs, and in singing good songs which have worth-while lyrics.

To pursue this further, if you discard the occasional fluke, good songs with worthwhile lyrics come from the top rank of composers, which explains their presence on this record. The songs here are ones which have lasted and which will be with us when all the three-week "hits" have tumbled out of mind forever. It's pertinent to note that these songs have verses as well as melodies and since the verses help tell the story more effectively (and are often pretty to hear) Anita sings them, too.

Through the years from the time when she was emerging from Chicago's Schurz High School and singing with Stan Kenton and Gene Krupa and turning out such best-selling records as "Her Tears Flowed Like Wine," Miss O'Day has had an enviable reputation for a singer with a beat. This affinity for the beat, along with a highly individual manner of phrasing and the pleasantly unexpected accents and pauses, is put to god use, to begin with one of the finest songs Cole Porter ever turned out- "You¼

Two other durable hits from Broadway shows are included here-"Who Cares?" from "Of Thee I Sing" and "Fine and Dandy" from the musical of the same name- as well as " I Can't Get Started," from the Vernon Duke-Ira Gershwin smash from a "Ziegfeld Follies" movie. Another standard tune, "I'll See You in My Dreams," is sung uptempo in contrast to its usual reading as a somewhat dreamy (and in some instances, dreary) ballad-not only that, Anita seems to have a smile that turns up the corner of her voice and this is as insinuating as it is appealing. „

Her rhythmic style to one side, Miss O¼

For this you can credit Buddy Bregman (like Anita a native of Chicago), who arranged the music and conducted the orchestra for these sessions in January, 1956. Bregman¼

Here, to accompany Miss O'Day, Bregman has assembled some of the foremost musicians in Hollywood: Paul Smith, Piano and Celeste; Barney Kessel, guitar (Courtesy Contemporary Records)(Smith and Kessel take particularly notable solos on "Who Cares?", "As Long As I Live," and "Beautiful Love"); Joe Mondragon, bass; Alvin Stoller, drums; trombonists Milt Bernhardt, Cy Zentner, Joe Howard and Lloyd Elliot; Corky Hale, harpist; and an outstanding string section.


Born: October 18, 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, Anita O'Day
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