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Bebop Spoken There

Adam O'Farrill: "Right now in my life, I don't see music as the be-all and end-all." - (DownBeat November 2020).

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12,176 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1315 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec. 5).

Remembering ...

Roland Kirk died on Dec. 5, 1977.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

CD Reviews: Dinah Washington - Blues For a Day & Sarah Vaughan - Lover Man


(Review by Lance)

Another couple from the fantastic Dreyfus Jazz catalogue by two of the most charismatic singers of the era.

Dinah Washington came up through the Lionel Hampton big band and emerged as, arguably, the greatest female blues singer since Bessie Smith. The lyrics are, in the main, raunchy and of the 'my man done gone an' done me wrong' variety and, when Dinah sings the blues, you feel blue with her! 

However, all her eggs weren't in on one basket, she also took a crack at the charts challenging a young Tony Bennett with Cold Cold Heart, helping Sinatra forget about Ava with her version of the song credited to Frank - I'm a Fool to Want You as well as throwing the gauntlet down at Kay Starr with Wheel of Fortune - fortunately, not on this album.

1945-1951: Dinah had the best - Hampton's band, Dizzy's band, soloists such as Lucky Thompson, Milt Jackson, Cootie, Quinichette and Diz himself. The first time I heard Dinah was on Blow Top Blues* - a 78rpm by Lionel Hampton that I bought in The Handy Shop in the cosmopolitan area of South Shields known as Laygate. The shop is long gone but I bought many records there in the pre-CD formats - anyone else out there who remembers the shop?
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Sarah Vaughan could also sing the blues but, unlike Dinah, her preferred genre was the GASbook and her inspirations, the bop guys such as Dizzy and Bird who are well featured on several of the tracks. Miles and JJ are also in there. In her later recordings, I found 'Sassy' to be perhaps a little over-stylised but in these tracks, she hits the perfect groove and, dare I suggest it? much as I love Ella Fitz, in this forties/fifties period I think 'The Divine One' had the edge!
Lance
* There are two versions of  Blow Top Blues on this CD.

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