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Anita O'Day Swings Cole Porter With Billy May

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iTunes Review

It’s impossible not to compare Anita O’Day’s 1959 tribute to Cole Porter to Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook. The two singers were the queens of the Verve roster, and Fitzgerald’s album was arranged by Buddy Bregman, a frequent O’Day collaborator. The difference lies in each singer’s disposition. While Fitzgerald has the steadiness and poise of swing music, O’Day personifies the quickness and creative spontaneity of bebop. Fitzgerald’s Cole Porter album is beloved for its elegance and depth of emotion, but it can’t match O’Day for nimbleness. Anita brings kinetic energy to “Just One of Those Things,” “Love for Sale” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Perhaps the best point of comparison is “I Get a Kick Out of You.” While Ella’s version has the elegant, stately glide of an American eagle, Anita’s has the restless, playful motion of a hummingbird. If you know these songs from the perspective of Fitzgerald or another classic jazz singer, give Anita’s album a try — she manages to bring new thrills and turns out of every old song.

Customer Reviews

Bonus track

This album isn't quite as good as some of Anita's other records -- such as "Anita O'Day Sings the Winners", but there's one track on here, one of the bonus tracks, that is a must-have. It's "You're the Top." It's worth a hundred dollars.


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 O'Day Swings Cole Porter With Billy May, Anita O'Day
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