Author Topic: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s  (Read 34011 times)

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Elgarian

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2012, 12:34:39 AM »
Helen Forrest footnote

I should mention a few more CDs I have. First there are the radio transcriptions from 1949/50 with Carmen Dragon and his orchestra, recorded specifically for broadcast. There are 3 CDs available of these, but be warned. The two Viper's Nest CDs are entirely duplicated on a single Swing Factory release. This is the Swing Factory disc:



Obviously better value (but perhaps harder to find, and offers much less information) than the two alternatives (Embraceable you and I wanna be loved) that cover the same ground:

 

Are they worth having? Well, the tracks are all very short, mostly about 2 minutes; and they are definitely the no-longer-big-band Helen (see previous post). Smooth, accomplished, but ultimately (for me) rather lifeless.

Another album that might come your way is one that she made in 1983 at about the time her autobiography was published. It's been issued on CD by Viper's Nest as Helen Forrest Studio Sessions (hard to find) but has also been issued paired up with a Chris Connor album:



It's a valiant attempt from an ageing Helen, and she clearly hadn't forgotten how to swing in 1983, but her voice shows obvious signs of strain - she has to glide into all the big notes, and I find listening to more than a couple of songs can become uncomfortable.



Offline Vesteralen

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #61 on: July 31, 2012, 09:37:09 AM »
This should probably be on a separate thread, but I was wondering if anyone has developed an appreciation for female jazz vocalists since the 1960's? 

Are there any current artists you would recommend?

Elgarian

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #62 on: July 31, 2012, 10:44:42 AM »
This should probably be on a separate thread, but I was wondering if anyone has developed an appreciation for female jazz vocalists since the 1960's? 

Are there any current artists you would recommend?

May I suggest (as you yourself suggested) a new thread for that? I could of course re-title the thread more broadly, as 'female jazz vocalists', but I wanted to create something more focused than that.

Having said that, I'll now proceed to discuss two DVDs of performances from 1963 and 1970!! However, they're of Anita O'Day, who was very much a child of the Swing period, even though she had an extended singing career.  Here they are:

 

The Tokyo show from 1963 isn't great quality. The picture is a bit fuzzy, and the sound not of the best - acceptable, certainly, but not hifi. But the performances, oh my goodness. Two minutes in, and I simply stop noticing the technical limitations. There's a marvellous performance of 'Bewitched, bothered & bewildered' that I posted earlier (#20) - that youtube video will also give you an impression of the visual quality.

The other DVD in the Jazz icons series  is far superior in quality, both visually and in sound, and we get to see two shows: one from Sweden in 1963, and the other with a 7-year older older Anita, from a Norwegian show of 1970. The performances include the exquisite version of 'Nightingale sang ...' posted in #20.

Both DVDs make for compelling viewing as well as listening. When she sings, she sings with all of her, not just her voice: hands, body, face - everything is employed to fascinating effect. Also there are some fine examples of how she 'conducts' the other musicians, with a wave of the microphone, with a hand gesture, with a look. There's a story about how one musician complained that he didn't need her to tell him how to play. 'I'm not telling you how to play,' said Anita, 'I'm telling you when to play.' Watching her relationship with the musicians is no less fascinating than watching her sing.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 12:43:43 PM by Elgarian »

Offline johnny

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2013, 09:20:17 AM »
Who was the female vocalist who sang "I Left My Sugar In Salt Lake City" in JAM SESSION, 1944, Jan Garber's orchestra? First round of looking online didn't reveal anything. I couldn't catch the name, it was something like Helen Inglis or Helen English. Thanks.

Online mc ukrneal

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #64 on: September 02, 2013, 09:24:35 PM »
Who was the female vocalist who sang "I Left My Sugar In Salt Lake City" in JAM SESSION, 1944, Jan Garber's orchestra? First round of looking online didn't reveal anything. I couldn't catch the name, it was something like Helen Inglis or Helen English. Thanks.
I didn't know, but a little research came up with Helen Englert: http://archive.org/details/JanGarberOrchV-helenEnglert-ILostMySugarInSaltLakeCity1944
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline KevinP

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #65 on: September 03, 2013, 02:55:53 AM »
Bessie Smith
Billie Holiday
Mahalia Jackson
Dinah Washington

Take out 'female,' 'jazz' and all the decades from the subject line and my answer would be unchanged (well, assuming just 'vocalists' implies favourites).

snyprrr

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #66 on: September 04, 2013, 05:46:53 AM »
Helen Merrill????????

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #67 on: September 06, 2013, 03:08:45 PM »
BOY, I'm shocked that I've not been a subscriber to this thread! Embarrassed -  ::)

I've owned many of these gals on CDs for years - now Lee Wiley is a favorite and I love her later recordings (already addressed in this thread) - I knew about Annette Hanshaw but was surprised that I did not have any of her recordings; SO, just ordered the one below & am listening to it now - enjoying (don't like her 'Betty Boop' singing, though) it now and would like to know if her 'comeback' recordings (if they exist?) feature her wonderful voice better (I find that Lee Wiley was more enjoyable later in her life - likely just a change in style w/ these ladies from the 20-30s into the later decades) - Dave :)


Offline early grey

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Re: Female jazz vocalists of the 1920s/30s/40s/50s
« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2013, 04:13:31 AM »
Nothing much here since September, however Eydie Gormé died in August and although not a jazz singer as such she certainly knows how to put over a song. I recommend "Guess who I saw today" on you-tube for a taste of her quieter style and for her brassier side you can hear her with a big band conducted by Don Costa  and recorded in the late 1950s here

http://www.cliveheathmusic.co.uk/vinyl2.php

where she is third on the list. For all her powerful delivery she has a tinge of pathos in her styling that can trap the unwary and you can find yourself besotted!!

R.I.P. Eydie Gormé