STEFANCOMMENTATEUR DU HALL D'HONNEURTOP 50 COMMENTATEURS le 28 février 2014
Cet album a un énorme défaut, il ne dure que 24 minutes. Et sinon ? Cet album n'a aucun défaut.
Parce qu'Anita O'Day, alors dans sa trentaine, a déjà une sérieuse expérience, elle qui a commencé, à la dure, sur les routes et dans les cluhs américains dès l'âge de 14 ans avant de se voir engagée, dès 1941, comme vocaliste de la formation du batteur/leader Gene Krupa. Mais ce n'est qu'ici, après quelques participations au œuvres d'autres (Stan Kenton, Roy Eldridge), qu'elle obtient enfin son premier "disque-à-elle". Comme Anita a de la personnalité, punchy la personnalité, en plus d'avoir de la voix, jolie la voix si vraiment blanche, elle réussit son pari avec un album qui swingue franchement, certes un peu suranné dans ses arrangements mais ce qui fait son charme, aussi. Pas d'info sur la composition du band mais on entend bien qu'on a affaire à de bons professionnels pas sans prestance ou imagination. A la direction, on retrouve Norman Granz, un cador de la prod' jazz, c'est l'assurance que ça sonnera, et ça sonne ! Restent donc les chansons, et surtout le choix d'icelle par rapport au registre de Mlle O'Day. Et là, classique et rondement mené, c'est une sélection gagnante avec pas mals de classiques immortels (Love for Sale, The Lady Is a Tramp, Lullaby of the Leaves) et quelques chansons plus surprenantes mais pas moins convaincantes qui s'imbriquent bien dans ce jazz swing tous publics (ce qui n'est pas péjoratif).Lire la suite ›
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First issued by Norgran Records in 1953 with eight confused tracks that attempted to capitalize on the emerging rock and roll craze. Those eight tracks only consumed 23 minutes of play time. Short even by 1953 standards. Yes, the producer probably should have been shot, but music and times were changing.
It then went through one more Nogran issue under a different name: Anita Sings Jazz. If you go to the final album's product page (which I will get to in the next sentence) it will be painfully apparent that this title was an oxymoron if ever there was one. Finally, after Norman Granz established Verve and merged the Norgran catalog, someone added four more tracks that had nothing to do with the musical theme on the first eight and reissued this even more confused album under the more aptly named, The Lady Is A Tramp. Go to that linked page to listen to the sound samples. If you either like what you hear or are a compulsive completest (like me), go to yet another product page - Four Classic Albums: Anita Sings the Most/The Lady Is a Tramp/An Evening With Anita O'Day/This Is Anita - where this album is bundled with three others at a price not much more than the cost of either this or the Lady is a Tramp album.
Still with me? If so you are definitely a fan, so I will indulge you with my own overly enthusiastic and entirely subjective comments about this album and its successors that culminated in The Lady is a Tramp. To do that we need to go back a full decade to 1942. Anita was with Krupa, but a different event happened: Lionel Hampton called Illinois Jacquet to take a solo on his tenor sax during a performance of Flying Home. That planted the rock and roll seed, which manifested itself in early rock and roll with the honking sax that was an almost obligatory part of every song in 1952's nascent rock craze. You can hear that treatment on most of the tracks on this album too.
If you are still reading this you are probably bored or killing time, so I'll continue. I said above that the producer should have been shot. In all seriousness, 1952 was a time of upheaval for the music. The big bands imploded, musical tastes were changing, and stars of the big band era were either evolving or being pushed out. Bebop (a genre I personally love) didn't help by being non-danceable and too technical. Rock, R&B and rocbabilly were emerging, and record companies were trying to figure out where things were going and change to accommodate changing public tastes (and stay in business.)
Norman Granz' Norgran label was not immune to trying to find its place, which probably accounts for this album. But unlike some labels, Granz had his thumb on jazz and his hand in his Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts, so his pockets were deep enough to eventually find the proper niche for Anita (and a plethora of others), and refocus on jazz. This ultimately culminated with the formation of Verve Records. But in 1952 the choices were murkier.
Bottom line, Anita, like Granz, stuck with jazz rendering this album a curiosity that captures a moment in a confused time with an equally confused tracklist.
Only someone with a lot of time on their hands, or a diehard fan would still be reading this, so you will probably be interested in the personnel list:
Tracks 1-4: Roy Eldridge on trumpet, Albert Johnson on tenor sax, Cecil Payne on baritone sax, Bill Harris on trombone, Ralph Burns on piano, Al McKibbon on Bass and Don Lamond on drums.
Tracks 6-8: Roy Kral on piano, Earl Backus on guitar, John Frigo on bass, Bob Lionberg on drums and Jim Wilson on percussion.
If you still want the album, get it as a part of Four Classic Albums: Anita Sings the Most/The Lady Is a Tramp/An Evening With Anita O'Day/This Is Anita.