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Black Coffee

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Editors’ Notes

One of the earliest concept albums, Black Coffee set a new standard for sophistication and subtlety in the world of female vocal jazz. Black Coffee was intended to capture the moods of Lee’s performances in after-hours clubs like Manhattan’s La Vie en Rose, where she had just finished a residency before recording this album. She retained the services of three sidemen from her time at La Vie en Rose (pianist Jimmy Rowles, drummer Ed Shaughnessy, and trumpeter Pete Candoli), who provide highly sympathetic accompaniment. Instead of arranging a track and leaving the vocalist to keep up, Lee’s musicians listen intently and follow the lead of her voice. And what a voice it is. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So” prove that Lee could play the athletic and explosiveness swinger, but there’s no denying that torch songs were her specialty. Sexy and elegant, Lee spoke to the everywoman, even though her voice seemed to exist in an alternate dimension. “Black Coffee,” “A Woman Alone with the Blues,” and “You’re My Thrill” present an intensity that equates loneliness with arousal.

Customer Reviews

Black Coffee

The perfect early first or last disk of the night when cocktailing

Black Coffee

Check out k d lang's version of "Black Coffee". Much richer and creamier!


Born: May 26, 1920 in Jamestown, ND

Genre: Pop

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

Peggy Lee's alluring tone, distinctive delivery, breadth of material, and ability to write many of her own songs made her one of the most captivating artists of the vocal era, from her breakthrough on the Benny Goodman hit "Why Don't You Do Right" to her many solo successes, singles including "Mañana," "Lover" and "Fever" that showed her bewitching vocal power, a balance between sultry swing and impeccable musicianship. Born Norma Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, she suffered the death of her...
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