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Sunday, May 31, 2020

BBC 2: Jazz Divas Gold - May 30


Following on from Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things on BBC 2 (Saturday - see Ann's review) there was more of Ella and a whole lot more from a host of 'jazz divas' in Jazz Divas Gold. The term 'diva' is often applied derogatorily, much better to simply enjoy the singing of some of the most famous jazz faces - and voices - of the twentieth and twenty first centuries.  

Much of Jazz Divas Gold (produced by Mark Cooper and Sarah Duncan in 2013) was in black and white. Following Ella we heard from, variously, Cleo Laine, as ever accompanied by husband John (Johnny) Dankworth, Sarah Vaughan on Saturday Night at the Mill from 1981, late-career Peggy Lee, a Late Show appearance by Nina Simone and comic contributions from three funny men of the time. 

Morecambe and Wise persuaded many famous names to appear in comic sketches on their popular tv show and not once did the duo seek to embarrass their guest and that was the case when Marion Montgomery braved the prospect of a leg-pull or send-up!. Perhaps the artist's agent reasoned that television exposure to upwards of twenty million people made good business sense! Game for a laugh, Ms Montgomery joined Dudley Moore, squeezing onto the piano stool, for a duo performance and throughout could hardly keep a straight face. Check out Dudley's jazz piano playing on any of several albums and online achive film. Dudley was a marvellous, Errol Garner-inspired, swinging pianist. Did any BSH reader get to hear Dud in concert?

Two or three highlights from the hour-long broadcast...a simply brilliant Diahann Carroll singing All or Nothing at All, Betty Carter's I Should Care and Cassandra Wilson (see photo) working with a great band (Mulgrew Miller, piano?).          
Russell

1 comment :

Lance said...

I may have seen Dudley Moore in concert with the Dankworth Orchestra - I can't remember which suggests I didn't as I'm sure I'd have remembered. I can however, claim a tenuous connection with Dudley as I once sold a pair of drumsticks to the drummer with his Trio - Chris Karan.

Re Marian Montgomery's agent, Andy Hudson was, I seem to recollect, involved with her in a managerial capacity. I saw her at Caedmon Hall in Gateshead and she was even better without Morecombe and Wise hamming it up!

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