先日、来日時のスポーツ新聞記事をご紹介しました。今回はアニタ・オデイがダウンビート誌の名物コーナー「The Blindfold Test」に登場した時の記事を添付しました。(1957年4月4日号)
I don’t know who the girl singer is, but I like the choice of tune. I’ve known about this tune since about 1941-in fact it was about the first tune I ever played on the piano … (hums)… It’s real pretty. I had never heard the verse before, and I did enjoy this girl on the verse. I didn’t care for the interpretation of the tune after she got into the chorus … I don’t care for that type of singing-it’s too choppy.I think it should be more smooth for this type of tune. I’d have lost the entire theme of the song unless I had known the tune, which fortunately I did. The accompaniment didn’t impress me one way or another. How do I rate it? If I hadn’t ever known the tune, I don’t think it would have done anything to me at all, so I’d classify it “z,” whatever that is. Would “z” be no stars? Okay, no stars.
That was a nice version. I enjoyed that much better the smoothness of it … Chris’ flowing tones and the interruptions at the end of each word. Of course, it doesn’t come up to her Lush Life. That’s about the smoothest of the slow tunes she’s done. However, I like this. I think I would even buy this-like if we were on a panel”Would you buy this is it a hit or a miss, quote, Peter?” Not that it would be a hit, but I would buy this, I believe. Sort of category “m” … if the other was “z,” this would be “m.” Three stars.
Well, I guess if you are an Ella Fitzgerald fan, you would like this very much. However, this old versiondream up a story and sell it to Hollywood … Hollywood’ll buy anything. Who dreamed up Ella singing “and then my heart stood still”? It’s ridiculous. Here’s a girl who sings good swing music… She reads very well on this and she’s got the melody down. Dum, bum, bum, two-beat, ya, da da … boy! this is it for melody and everything, but classing Ella in this kind of a tune-I don’t know. All I can say is, sell it to Hollywood-and they did.The arrangement was pleasant, and Ella didn’t sing badly on it. I’m not saying it’s bad or good, but I think it’s kind of silly—the entire tune with Ella. So much talent and how they’ve used it! As far as buying the record-I’m hung again as to how to class this. It wasn’t so bad musically-it’s a nice record, whatever “nice” is.
Sarah always relaxes me, because when you hear that it’s Sarah, you know you can say to yourself right away like “this record is going to be played from beginning to end and it’s going to be done very well,” so you don’t have to worry too much about it.There are five placements that one can sing from: The upper front of the mouth; uh-uh; the back of the top of the roof of the mouth; the throat, down into the lower part of the … uh-uh. I don’t know the technical names for these … I did, because I studied it a long time ago, but I know there are five places you can sing from, and Sarah sings from all five of them, which makes her like the queen of singers. This is the lady, queen, princess, or whatever you want to say, but she’s a good girl singer, and I’m for girl singers. I would say this would be rated very good.
I have no idea who the singer is, and I don’t think I really care to find out. I would say it’s a beginner’s style and really no connection to the music. She’s singing the story all right, but where’s the music? … Chopping the phrasing-I didn’t like it at all. The background of the choruses that followed … the music involved-I would say pretty good be-bopping there, if you’re going that way – not too bad at all, but frankly, if the record was given to me, I think I would give it back. I’d rate it “z.”
Rita Reys (vcl) acc by Donald Byrd (tp) Hank Mobley (ts) Horace Silver (p) Doug Watkins (b) Art Blakey (d) New York, May 3, 1956
There’s a line in the song, “and the act of hearts is high.” This gal gets my heart and aces high to boot! That’s the best record I’ve heard in a long time! I couldn’t tell you who’s singing or the background here. I could speculate, but I won’t. I enjoyed it much, much, very good, a-b-c-d-x-y-z, five stars, thank you, Mr. Feather!
My afternoon is complete. This is the lad-Jackie Paris, of course. And if I were a male-ha! ha! singer, that is, I would like to be Jackie Paris, male singer-that’s the lad. He was associated with Jeri Southern for a long time a long time ago, and that was when I first heard him. He was in New York in 1944 or ’45 when I was with Stan Kenton’s band, and that’s when I first heard Jackie. Then right after I left Stan’s band, I did a single at the Holiday inn in Newark, and Jackie Paris was on the bill. So I got to hear him in person.Why nothing’s happening with Jackie I’ll never know. I followed him in Hawaii about four months ago, and the club owners said business was terrible, but in Hawaii everything is terrible, except the sun, of course the musicians and everything else involved it’s pretty bad. What can you say about Jackie except “this is the male singer”-six stars!
Jackie Paris (vcl) acc by Eddie Shu (hca,ts) Dick Hyman (p) John Collins (g) Tommy Potter (b) Roy Haynes (d) New York, November 12, 1949
Well, that should be a big recordbeautiful! Chris really sing’s this … that’s a good one for her. I like the tune much-I’m positive it’s Chris. I think both versions are good. I’ll have to give another six stars.
An enjoyable rendition of By Myself Alone. I presume that’s the title I’ve never heard the tune before. The girl singer-I could say, but I’m afraid to -Helen Merrill? I don’t know I’ve never heard her before. Her voice is smooth, I like it … small, intimate, but good intonation, without a shout, you know.It’s enjoyable. I thought the entire record was very good. I don’t know who arranged it, of course. I liked the trumpet-was that a progressive cat there? Ha! ha! Shall I speculate or not? Dizzy on a cool day? Very good, very good.
Helen Merrill (vcl) acc by Art Farmer, Louis Mucci (tp) Jimmy Cleveland (tb) John LaPorta (cl,as) Hank Jones (p) Barry Galbraith (g) Oscar Pettiford (b) Joe Morello (d) + strings, Gil Evans (arr,cond) New York, July 29, 1956
That was a smart, snappy version. I like the singer, but don’t know who it was. Sort of a happy, elated interpretation, and I enjoyed it. As far as rating-let’s see-good. How about the piano? What piano? Ha! ha!
Well, let’s see — that’s not Paul Whiteman. Ha! ha! His was the first version I heard, of that tune. It’s real nice—the right groove and the right tune. The right answers to that would be right good.
Peggy Connelly (vcl) acc by Pete Candoli, Stu Williamson (tp) Russ Cheever (sop) Charlie Mariano (as) Bill Holman (ts) Jimmy Giuffre (bar) Al Hendrickson (g) Max Bennett (b) Stan Levey (d) Russ Garcia (arr,cond) Los Angeles, January 16, 17 & 18, 1956
That record reminds me of a perfect example. For instance, I do a recording session and there’s 17 to 24 men, and then a club in the east will hire me and they’ll have a fast trio to accompany me and people will say “Do that tune, How High the Moon or Bootwhip,” or something on which I had 17 men, and with a trio I’m supposed to make it-like-“sound,” and it’s not easy, but Billie does it real well.This is Miss Stylist of the World, and it’s always good. Traveling Light and traveling right with Billie Holiday. The full value of stars.