AN ALPHABETIC LIST OF MY FAVOURITE ARTISTS/PERFORMERS

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ALLEN, Harry (    -    ) Tenor Saxophone         Plays rich-toned standards in, eg 'I'll Never Be The Same' - on Mastermix CD (1992); probably others since.

ALLISON, Karen (    -    ) Vocalist (?English)         Heard her singing 'Savoy' (cf Judy Garland) and 'I Didn't Know About You' (with nice, short verse). She has quite a good, natural jazz voice.

ALLISON, Mose (    -    ) Vocalist & Guitar (American) - Jazz-like Country & Blues singer.         First heard him years ago singing 'Parchment Farm' from his 'Back Country Suite' (I believe). Several CDs including:

AMBROSIO, Meredith D' (    -    ) Vocalist (American)         Has a subtle, careful, intelligent-sounding voice. Doesn't try to do too much with it; often sings in a relaxed, whispery style. Numbers heard include: 'Young and Foolish', Lotus Blossom (?Billy Strayhorn; possibly includes the line 'Gone are the Blossom Days, unless that's the name of (?another) tune), 'I Can Dream Can't I?' (very smooth), 'More Than You Know'. CDs include: 'South To a Warmer Place' (1990), 'The Cove', 'I Got Lost In His Arms'. 'Turn Out The Stars'. [Any later ones ?]

ANDERSON, Ivy (1904 - 1949) Vocalist (with Duke Ellington 1931-1942)       A favourite of mine by her is 'At a Dixie Roadside Diner' (on 'The Complete Works of Duke Ellington - vol 10' (ca 1939). See also 'Duke Ellington Presents Ivy Anderson' on Columbia (2002) and on many early Duke sides. Others are on Hep CD (1067), on Avid -'Uptown Downbeat' (includes 'I've Got the World on a String') and 'Ivy Anderson & Her All Stars' on Gala. After 1942, she suffered increasingly from asthma and rarely recorded. She did 4 sides in L.A. in 1949, however, not long before she died.

ARMSTRONG, Louis (1901 - 1971) Trumpet & Vocalist       'Jazz personified'. Like most musicians coming out of the south in his day, his first concern was necessarily to make a living by being an entertainer. His musical style when doing this happened to be authentic jazz (as an amalgam of all the influences he absorbed in New Orleans and Chicago) and this style in turn influenced most who came after him. It was discovered in 1996 that he wasn't, as generally believed previously, born on 4 July 1900 but on Aug 4 1901. He died July 6 1971.

There are literally hundreds of singles, cassettes, LPs and CDs of his vast output - most of his best numbers having been re-issued several times in various combinations. Some of my favourites include: 'Struttin With Some Barbecue' (1938 version), 'Sleepy Time Down South', 'The Best of Louis Armstrong' (Decca LP with 24 of his 'hit parade' hits of the '50s; commercial but still good; probably on CD now), 'Louis Armstrong in the '30s and '40s' (Victor LP), '1947 Town Hall Concert Plus' (RCA LP), 'Town Hall Concert - The Unissued Parts' (RCA France), 'Out of The Stars' (LP - includes 'East of the Sun'). His 1927-28 Hot Fives and Hot Sevens including 'Muggles', 'Knocking a Jug', 'West End Blues', Hotter Than That', etc. 'Big Butter and Egg Man' (1926) with May Alix, 'Potato Head Blues' (1927), 'I Must Have That Man' (1928) with Lillie Christian, 'Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines' (1928) - Smithsonian Collection, 'Knocking a Jug' (1929 - his 1st recording with Jack Teagarden); With Luis Russell (1929) - 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love', 'St Louis Blues', 'Rockin Chair', 'Blue Turning Grey Over You', 'Black and Blue'. 'Ain't Misbehavin'.

Great 1930 sides include 'After You've Gone', 'Some Of These Days', 'When You're Smiling', 'You're Driving Me Crazy', 'If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight', 'I'm Confessin...', 'Just a Gigalo', 'Sweethearts On Parade', 'Memories Of You' (with Lionel Hampton), 'Shine', 'Basis Street Blues', 'You Rascal You', 'You're Lucky To Me' and 'Dippermouth Blues'. From 1931: 'Sleepy Time Down South', 'Georgia', 'Up The Lazy River', 'Stardust', 'I Surrender Dear', 'Them There Eyes', 'Body and Soul'. 1932: 'Shine', 'I've Got The World On A String', 'I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues' (very good), 'Young Louis' (Bluebird LP), 'Medley of Hits' (Victor - including Sleepy Time...). 1933: recorded with Decca in Paris. 1934-35 (?). 1936: With the Mills Bros on: 'Old Nellie Grey', 'Ain't Misbehavin', 'I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket'. 1936-37: 'I Double Dare You' (two takes of this on CD: Louis Armstrong Orch - vol 3- 'Pocket Full of Dreams' on GAP), 'Thanks A Million' (great vocal). 1937-39: recorded new versions of many of his earlier hits. Also 'Jubilee' (excellent solo) and 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love' (also great).

In 1940, he recorded with Sidney Bechet. 'Swing That Music - The Complete Recorded Works - 1935-45' on MCA (France), or Coral. 1944: 'Opera House Concert' (with Jack Teagarden, includes I've Got a Right To Sing the Blues' and 'Basis Street Blues'. 1945: 'I Wonder' (an early duet with Ella). 1946: 'Long, Long Journey' with Johnny Hodges on Esquire's 'All American Series (?All Stars). 1947: 'Louis At Symphony Hall (Boston) - with Jack Teagarden (includes 'Sunny Side of the Street'; an excellent all-round jazz record). He also recorded with Bobby Hackett that year - possibly at that same concert(?) - eg on 'Rockin Chair' and 'Back a Town Blues'. 'I'm Just A Lucky So and So' with Duke Ellington (?year). (This possibly in one of 2 LPs he recorded with Duke - eg 'The Beautiful Americans' on Roulette.) 1949: 'Back 'a Town Blues', 'East Of The Sun', 'Down Bourbon Street' and 'Frankie & Johnny' (very gravel-voiced but spot-on timing!), 1948-60: He recorded many popular hits as 'The Gypsy', 'La Vie En Rose', 'Blueberry Hill', 'C'Est Si Bon' (with excellent trumpet). Later hits included 'Mack The Knife', 'Hello Dolly', 'What a Wonderful World'. 1950s: 'Satch Plays Fats' and 'Louis Plays W.C. Handy'. 'The Singing Style of Louis Armstrong' on Verve by Granz (1957-60). 1961: 'Ella and Louis' (LP; now CD - followed by two others on Verve: 'Ella and Louis Again' and 'Porgy and Bess'). 1970: 'Louis and His Friends' (LP with Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett, etc). 'You're A Lucky Guy' with J.C. Higgenbottom (year uncertain). Many new compilations after Louis' death in 1971.

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BAILEY, Mildred (1907 - 1952)   Vocalist.        Began recording in early '30s on such as Hoagy Carmichael's 'Georgia On My Mind', 'Lazy Bones', 'Rockin Chair', etc. But before this, sang around L.A. ca 1926/27 and provided her brother and Bing Crosby (from the same home town in Washington state) with a base from which to start their early careers. They all worked with Paul Whiteman from ca 1930 and Mildred with the Dorsey Brothers, and also Teddy Wilson from ca 1933. From 1936, she was with Red Norvo (whom she married) and recorded some excellent numbers which included: 'For Sentimental Reasons', 'More Than You Know' (recommended), 'You're Laughing At Me' and 'My Last Affair'. In the '40s, she recorded with various small groups in N.Y. nightclubs and on her own radio show including a version of 'Georgia' in 1941. A major album was 'Her Greatest Performances' (1929-1946) - vols. 1 to 3 - on Columbia, issued about 1966. It's likely been re-issued on CD. Jazz critic Chris Ellis said "Amongst white female jazz singers, only Connie Boswell and Lee Wiley could hold a candle to her in the '30s, and she had no serious rival until Peggy Lee and Rosemary Clooney...". Words that describe her style to me are 'bittersweet', 'poignant', 'appealing' and 'nostalgic'. She had health problems with her weight due to diabetes and sadly died aged just 47.

Some numbers I've heard and enjoyed by her included: 'Heaven Help This Heart of Mine', 'I Didn't Know About You' (marvellous), '?Strangers', 'Someday Sweetheart' (with Teddy Wilson), 'Give Me Time', 'It All Comes Back To me Now', 'It's Love I'm After' and 'I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart'. CDs and LPs (some of which later issued as CDs) include: 'That Rockin Chair Lady' on Topaz (1931-39) 'The Rocking Chair Lady' on MCA (1932-50), 'Swing Defender' on Jazzmen (with several Johnny Mercer songs), 'Mildred Bailey - All Of Me' on Monmouth/Evergreen (U.S.) and Ember (U.K.), 'The Mildred Bailey Radio Show - 1944-45' on Sunbeam, 'Mildred Bailey - 1930-41' on CBS France, 'Red Norvo - featuring Mildred Bailey' on Sounds of Swing, 'Rockin Chair - The V-Disc Sessions' on Vintage Jazz (1943-51) and 'Harlem Lullaby' on Hep (1006) - on which she sings 8 numbers with the Dorsey Bros Orch (with others by Bing, Lee Wiley, Ethel Waters, Bunny Berigan and Joe Venuti!). She sings one number - 'Falling In Love Again' on Roy Eldridge's CD 'Little Jazz' on CBS (which has another by Billie Holiday). In 1996, Darryl Sherman (a bit like Blossom Dearie) made a CD of 'Mildred Bailey Songs' which include 'I Go For That' (1938), 'You're Laughing At Me' (which I only knew by Ella) and 'I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm' (both from Irving Berlin's 'On The Avenue' (1937). There's a terrific trumpet backing on some numbers. I'd love to hear Mildred's own versions of these (presumably recorded) as well.

BAKER, Chet (1929 - 1988)    Trumpet and Vocalist       Sings tenor in a very light, gentle way but with great timing and choice of material. Ditto with his cool trumpet playing. He has a huge discography (as detailed in the Penguin Guides). He recorded with Paul Desmond in the '70s including CDs 'You Can't Go Home Again' on A& M and 'She Was Too Good To Me' on Epic - one of which includes a great version of 'Tangerine (I believe). I once saw a CD by him - 'Mr Cool' on Blue Note - for 1.99! I have his CD 'The Best of Chet Baker Sings' on Pacific Jazz - a compilation of numbers recorded in L.A. ca 1953-56. It's excellent - especially on 'I'll Remember You', 'There Will Never Be Another You' and 'Let's Get Lost'.

BAKER, Harold 'Shorty'  ( - )    Trumpet      Played mostly with Ellington - very prettily. Did a great job with Johnny Hodges and Billy Strayhorn on 'When I Dream Of You' on ?CD.

BAKER, Kenny   (1928-1999)   Trumpet       With his group called 'the Half Dozen', including George Chisholm on trombone, he made a magnificent recording of one of my favourites tunes - 'Keeping Out Of Mischief Now' with Gerge Chisholm. To my mind, the greatest ever British jazz record. He also did a terrific version of 'Can't Get Started' (matches Berigan's) and also a marvellous rendition of 'Blues in Thirds' (which really was 'blue' and sad). Many others.

BARNES, Alan  ( - )    Clarinet and Saxophone (British)       One LP of his included 'Fancy Our Meeting' with an attractive, nostalgic sound and a CD called 'A Sleepin' Bee' includes a very nice 'When The Sun Comes Out'. Others with Humph.

BARNET, Charlie  (1913 - 1991)    Saxophone and Bandleader       From a moneyed background, he was first white bandleader to play at Harlem's Apollo Theatre and often employed coloured musicians in his bands before this was common. He'd threaten to cancel his band's entire booking in a hotel if they refused to have eg Lena Horne. He admired Ellington and Basie and modelled his band on them. He co-authored his biography 'Those Swinging Years' with Stanley Dance (1984) - described as 'irresistibly naughty'. An early LP I admired was 'Silver Stars Swing Series' on MCA (issued ca ?1960s of numbers recorded in the '40s) on which Kay Starr sang. Numbers included 'Skyliner' and 'You Always Hurt The One You Love'. Much of it may have been on recent CD called ' Drop Me Off In Harlem' (1942-46) on MCA and/or Decca Jazz; possibly not including Kay Starr. See also 'Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra - 1944-49' on Golden era.

BASIE, Count  ( - )    Piano and Bandleader       Vast discography. Penguin Guide cites a 5 CD set rated 5 stars! Has CDs with Sarah Vaughan ('No Count Sarah') on Mercury and with Joe Williams - on Vogue. Many with Lester Young and Herchel Evans - eg on Epic (France) and 'Basie's Best on CBS. Billie Holiday sang with his band for a short time but I'm not aware of any recordings (what a pity). A great solo by one of his alto players on 'Pretty Gal' (but by whom and on what CD?).

BAYES, Norah ( - )    Vocalist      An early white American blues/shows/popular songs singer said to be an influence on other early singers as Sophie Tucker, Ruth Etting and Ethel Waters. Few if any recordings. She once asked George Gershwin to change a note; he refused. Possibly cited by Sinatra also as an influence re phrasing.

BECHET, Sidney  (1897-1959)    Soprano Saxophone and Clarinet       Like Louis Armstrong, an original genius. Famously described as such by Louis Ansermet, Swiss classical conductor around 1926. Magnificent improviser, with driving emotion. LP 'Bechet of New Orleans' )1932-40) on Victor and a 5 CD set on Bluebird over similar period (1932-43). He recorded with Louis on Brunswick - 'New Orleans Jazz' and with Eddie Condon. Other albums: 'The Genius of Sidney Bechet' on Jazzology. 'Uniquely Sidney' on CBS (France) and 'Sidney Bechet' (vols 1 - 3) on RCA (France). Individual tracks enjoyed include: 'I Can't Get Started' with Milt Buckner, 'Summertime' (1939) and many more.

BENNETT, Richard Rodney  ( - )    Piano      Great interpreter of Gershwin. LP - 'Nobody Else But Me' on Polydor - playing Kern, Rogers, Porter and Arlen. Also 'Soliliquy' sung by Annie Ross and a Suite - 'A Jazz Calendar'. What else?

BENNETT, Tony  (1924 - )    Vocalist      His very long career (now over 50 years) has veered back and forth between Hit parade material and jazz. Great stamina as a singer. Has always seemed to love his work. Around 1971, was in London and recorded on CBS with Robert Farnon, the London Philharmonic and Bobby Hackett (I think). Eg 'Country Girl', 'Get Happy', Spotlight On Tony Bennett' and 'With Love'. Another CBS album 'For Once In My Life' and great versions of 'Just Friends', 'Just In Time', 'The Very Thought Of You' and 'Sophisticated Lady' (some with Robert Farnon). He did an album of Billie Holiday songs on one track of which he sings with her (dubbed) very movingly. His autobiography published in 1998 includes his huge discography. (more here to come)

BENTINE, Cheryl  ( - )    Vocalist      First heard her on Humph's programme in May 2004. Has a CD on Telemark. She improvises effortlessly in a competent, confident, honest style with great natural rhythm.

BERIGAN, Bunny  (1907 - 1942)    Trumpet and Vocalist     A flawed genius. Like Bix Beiderbeck, alcohol took its toll on him early in life. He recorded his classic 'I Can't get Started' twice - in 1936 (with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw) and in 1937 (his own band). The 1937 version is the classic; quite magnificent. It's on an RCA Victor Vintage LP and several later CDs. Another LP was'The Great Soloists - Bunny Berigan' (1932-37) on Biograph - similar to 'A Portrait of Bunny Berigan' (1932-36) on Living Era. Also 'Bunny Berigan, His Trumpet and Orchestra' (1937-39) on RCA and with Benny Goodman on RCA Victor (France). He also recorded with Tommy Dorsey - 'Swing Classics 1935' on Prestige and on his own on Shoestring and Coral (Germany). And 'The Complete Bunny Berigan' - vol 3 (1937-38) on Bluebird.

BERRY, Chu  (1910-1941)    Tenor Saxophone       Similar in style to Ben Webster and Bud Freeman. He did fine solos with Cab Calloway on 'Chu and 16 Cab Calloway Classics' on CBS (France) and with Ben Webster (1938-40) on Commodore Classics. 'The Complete Lionel Hampton' - vols 2,3 and 5 has him with Mildred Bailey (1929-46) on RCA Victor; and he's with Teddy Wilson & All Stars on CBS (Holland). A great track is 'I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance' (with Cab Calloway).

BIEDERBECK, Bix  (1903 - 1931)    Cornet      Another flawed genius who could create improvised melodies that no one else could match for their understated beauty, precision and subtlety. 'The Mozart of Jazz'. Drank himself to a very early grave. Classics include 'I'm Coming Virginia', 'In A Mist', 'Singin the Blues', etc. Albums: With Gene Goldkette and Joe Venuti (1927), 'Bix Biederbeck Story' vols 1-3 on CBS (France), 'The Bix Biederbeck Legend' on RCA (France), 'Jack Teagarden Classics' on Family (Italy), 'The Indispensible Bix Biederbeck' on RCA (France) and 'Bix and His Gang' on Parlaphone (UK). I have a tape somewhere of a 'Tribute to Bix' by the late Benny Green when on Jazz FM.

BOSTIC, Earl  (1913-1965)    Alto Saxophone      He made some very compelling Rhythm & Blues/Jazz sides in the early '50s including 'Deep Purple', 'Flamingo' and 'The Very Thought of You' that appeared later on an LP (and likely now on CD). His style then was rather robust and driving but with great rhythm and melody. He also made earlier recordings with Lionel Hampton and some EPs were issued in the UK on Parlaphone.

BOSWELL, Connie  (1905 - ?)    Vocalist      She began singing with her sisters in the late '20s but later took most of the limelight with her swinging style and excellent timing. She made several sides with Bing Crosby and also sang with the Dorsey Brothers and along side Joe Venuti and other jazz musicians, although never counted herself a jazz singer, I'm sure. Ella Fitzgerald claimed she was one of the few who influenced her own early style. I have an LP 'Sand In My Shoes' and know of '16 Boswell Sister Hits' (1931-33) on Vocalion. There must be others now on CD.

BOWLLY, Al  (1899 - 1941)    Vocalist       The name 'Bowlly' was a mis-spelling of the Greek surname 'Pauli'. He was part Lebanese, I believe, and was born in Portuguese East Africa but raised in South Africa where the family had a barber's shop. He sang in South Africa, Singapore, Malaya, India and Germany before settling in England around 1928. He made over 800 recordings, backed by most of the popular English dance bands of the day, before his early death in 1941, when a bomb fell on his flat in Jermyn Street. His full discography is well described in his biography by Ray Pallett. He was as melodic as Crosby; some say more so. His other quality was his carefree attitude and almost universal popularity; everyone seemed to love him - especially the girls - whom he usually had on each arm. He drank very little and kept himself in good shape. He went to the States with Ray Noble (ca 1935) and did quite well but grew homesick, preferring the gentler lifestyle of England to where he returned by ca 1937. Some of my favourite numbers by him are: 'The Very Thought of You', 'Isn't It Heavenly?', 'You Couldn't Be Cuter', 'Easy Come, Easy Go', 'Just Let Me Look at You', 'Cabin In The Pines', 'Fancy Our Meeting', 'By The Fireside', 'Love Is The Sweetest Thng' and 'Moonlight On The Highway'. And many others.

BRAFF, Ruby  (1927 - ?)    Trumpet       Plays quite melodic jazz - as on an Arborz Jazz CD with Dick Hyman on piano (possibly called 'What's New?') which included a lovely tune by Jerome Kern, and on Vogue VJD 519/2 with 'Struttin With Some Barbecue', with nice guitar support. Others include 'Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkin - Two By Two' on Fontana (with 12 great ballads), with Newport All Stars - 'A Tribute To Duke' on MPS and 'Midnight Concert in Paris' on Phillips. No doubt on many CDs now.

BROONZY, Big Bill  (1893 - 1958)    Blues Singer      Similar style to Joe Turner. LPs - 'Big Bill's Blues' on CBS Realm and 'Big Bill Broonzy' (1934-35) on Bluebird (France).

BUCKNER, Milt  (1915 - 1977)    Piano & Vibraphone       Played in that 'locked hands' style which apparently influenced George Shearing. CDs include 'Them There Eyes on Black and Blue (1967) and 'Masterpieces' on MPS (1962-66).

BURNETT, Carole  ( - )    Vocalist & Comedienne       Not a jazz singer but has excellent timing/phrasing - eg on Sondheim's 'I'm Here' (with Julie Andrews). Any CDs?

BURN, Jackie  ( - )    Vocalist       I've only heard her once - singing 'Good Morning, Heartache'; possibly a coloured American singer? Not quite jazz, but her rendition of this tune was most haunting. She doesn't try to copy Billie Holiday's version - having her own style, which has merit. Any CD by her?

BURRELL, Kenny  (1931 - ?)   Guitar       Highly regarded accompanist for many musicians and Ellington's favourite Guitarist. He's great on 'In A Sentimental Mood' with Jay McShann on ?vibes on an LP called 'Guiding Spirit' (1981) on ?? Also highly recommended is 'Ellington Is Forever' vol 1 - on Fantasy (both as LP and now CD) which includes a marvellous version of 'I Didn't Know About You' by saxist Joe Henderson'; Also 'Bluesy Burrell' on OJC gets 4 stars, with 'I Thought About You'.

BUTTERFIELD, Billy  ( - )    Trumpet      Played with a great many small groups including Eddie Condon's, Bob Crosby's and Benny Goodman's. See 'We Call it Music' on Ace of Hearts (UK) and the 'Golden Days of Jazz' - both with Condon. Also 'The World's Greatest Jazz Band' with Yank Lawson and Bob Haggert - on 'Plays Duke Ellington' on World Jazz, and 'At the Roozevelt Grill' on Atlantic and similar on World Record Club (includes a great 'What's New?').

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CAMPBELL, Jean  ( - )    Vocalist (possibly English)      I've only (knowingly) heard her sing one number - 'I'm A Sentimental One' - which was very nice. Any CDs? [I have since discovered that Jean Campbell was in fact born in Scotland, in 1926, and died in early 2003, also in Scotland. She sang professionally from about 1945 with the Cyril Stapleton Orch (replacing Pearl Carr) and later sang regularly on the radio show 'Take It From Here' with such as Dickie Valentine. She recorded for Parlophone, Columbia and Embassy. In the 1970s, Tony Bennett described her as 'Britain's Jo Stafford' and others compared her with Rosemary Clooney. She settled and sang for a time in South Africa, but returnd to Scotland and retired in 1995. There should be some used LPs of her, if no CDs.]

CARNEY, Harry  ( - )    Baritone Sax       Heard mainly on Ellington albums and on an LP 'Ghost Of A Chance', I believe, and probably on 'Johnny Hodges and the Ellington Men' on Verve.

CARTER, Benny  (1907-2003)    Saxophone and Bandleader       Played with almost everyone, with his middle of the road style, in his long career - both in the U.S. and Europe. LPs: 'Further Definitions' on Impulse (with Coleman Hawkins and including 'Honeysuckle Rose', Cherry', 'Blue Star', etc), 'Chocolate Dandies' (1928-1940) on Jazz Archives (?CD), 'Hot Malletts' with 'When Lights Are Low' and 'Dream of You' (with Lionel Hampton) on ?Commodore. With Freddie Gardiner in UK (1937) on 'There's a Small Hotel' and also with his 'All Stars' (1938/39) and Ethel Waters (1939-41) on RCA (France). Single tracks heard: 'Street Scene'and Pick Yourself Up'. Dozens of other LPs and CDs available which also cover his later years.

CHARLES, Ray  ( - )    Vocalist - Rhythm & Blues/Jazz       Blind from childhood. His big hit was 'Georgia', but many other fine perfomances now on CD. Swinging and very feelingful.

CHEATHAM, Doc  (ca 1902 - 1996)    Trombone       Devoted his very long life to jazz. He could really swing - to the end. We heard him in Newcastle ca 1975. Many recordings with various groups.

CHISHOLM, George  (ca1915 - 7 Dec 1997)    Trombone       Long serving English jazz player who had a secondary career as a radio and TV comedian. Came across as a really nice guy. I spoke to him briefly during an intermission at a concert at the old Georgian Theatre in Richmond, Nth Yorkshire (1991) when he was backing Maxine Daniels. See also entry under Kenny Baker. Played with several British groups from the '30s to the '90s.

CHRISTY, June  (1925 - 1993)     Vocalist       Known as the 'Misty Miss Christy' who replaced Anita O'Day with Stan Kenton's band. I love virtually everything she ever recorded. She gives every number her own carefully crafted interpretation and timing - with that slighty misty, husky tone that is her trademark. Her mono LP 'Something Cool' was a classic - full of perfect tracks as 'Midnight Sun', 'Something Cool', 'I'll Take Romance', etc. It's now on CD along with 'The Misty Miss Christy' (1955 LP) and 'The Best Of The Capitol Years' (with 'Give Me The Simple Life and 15 others), both on Capitol. She recorded as early as 1947 with Kenton for Capitol on eg 'How High The Moon' - on LPs such as 'Artistry in Rhythm', 'The Song Is June' and 'Together Again'. 1957: 'June: Fair and Warmer' and 'Gone For The Day'. 1959: 'June's Got Rhythm', 'June Recalls Those Kenton Days' and 'Ballads For Night People'. She made other albums in the '60s and '70s, I believe, including 'The Best Thing For You' on Affinity (?1986 - UK).

CLOONEY, Rosemary  (1927 - 2003)    Vocalist      Just like June Christy above, she was a natural jazz singer without ever trying to be one; maybe that's the secret. (She apparently maintained she wasn't one.) Whatever she was, I loved her singing - particularly during her 'second career' ca 1980-2000 with Concorde records - with many excellent tracks including 'As Long As I Live'. However, she was also great early on with 'Mixed Emotions', 'Hey There' and 'Tenderly' (with Percy Faith). Another I really liked was 'I'm Sincerely Yours' with Nelson Riddle - sheer perfection; Also 'My One And Only Love'. In about 1984, she recorded a 'lost' Gershwin number called 'Ask Me Again' with Michael Feinstein - beautifully. And 'Thanks For The Memory' was only ever bettered by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross. Despite the travails of her early married life and having to churn out too many novelty 'hits' in the 50/60s, she produced more quality sides than just about anyone except Ella and Nat Cole.

COLE, Nat  (1919-1966)   Vocalist and Pianist      The romantic balladeer par excellence. Dozens of hits during the 1950s/60s. 'Mona Lisa' was one of his first - in 1950 and then 'Lush Life' ca 1952 or so. After that, there are just too many to recall. I loved 'That Sunday, That Summer', 'Unforgettable' (his original version and the one his daughter Natalie did years later in which Nat's recorded voice comes in in the middle and they duet), 'Never Let Me Go', 'Blue Gardenia', 'A Blossom Fell', 'Stardust' (if there was ever a definitive version of that excellent song, this must be it), 'The Very Thought Of You', 'The Touch Of Your Lips', etc, etc. He also made some nice sides with Pete Rugalo ca 1950 and others with George Shearing and Nelson Riddle. A biography by his wife including the comment to the effect that she '..was surprised and pleased that many people wrote to her to say they remember falling in love listening to Nat's songs'. That's just about the most under-stated remark I've ever read. It would be easier to try to imagine the few who didn't - between 1950 and 1970. God bless him.

COLTRANE, John  ( - )   Tenor Sax      Highly respected 'modernist' on Sax whose Impulse CD or LP 'A Love Supreme' is highly acclaimed. I also loved his version of 'In A Sentimental Mood' with Duke Ellington on Piano - while others on Impuse were 'The Gentle Side of John Coltrane' (with 'What's New' and 'Lush Life', I believe) and 'Ballads' (possibly with Johnny Hartman - which also see).

CONDON, Eddie  (1905-1973)   Band Leader and Banjo Guitar      The purveyor of gentle, relaxed, happy, swinging jazz. He and his various groups recorded just about every swinging tune ever written between the '20s and '50s. In their early days, they used to live on Tomato soup and Hot dogs.

COOK, Barbara  ( ? )    Vocalist      Great singer of New York Show songs. Very talented. ('America's best kept secret'.) LP - Carnegie Hall Concert (1980) - includes 'If Love Were All' and 'Its Better in a Band'. Others now on CD.

COREA, Chick  ( ? )    Piano      Very crisp, precise, bop modernist but still attractive, even to my conservative tastes. CDs:

COX Ida  (1889-1966)   Blues Singer     One of the originators. Did an LP when she was 70 - 'Blues For Rampart Street' with Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge - on Riverside. Also 'Hard Times Blues' on Fontana. Others.

COWARD, Noel  (1899-1975)    Actor, Composer, Vocalist, Playwright, Genius      Wrote many great melodies and lyrics. See 'The Lyrics of Noel Coward' (1965). I love his 'If Love Were All' (recorded by many thoughtful singers as Barbara Cook, Joan Sutherland and Judy Garland). Also 'Mad About the Boy', 'Poor Little Rich Girl', Some Day I'll Find You' (eg by Hilda Gouldon), 'I'll See You Again' (eg by Vanessa Lee), I'll Follow My Secret Heart', 'You Were There', etc, etc. Many duets with Gertrude Lawrence - eg on Past Perfect 'Noel & Gertie' (including 'You Were There') and 'London Pride' (on Conifer). His plays ' Conversation Piece' and 'After the Ball' were recorded - now on CD.

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       The above alphabetic listing for my favorite performers is interrupted here (temporarily) in order to record my views on the best performances of several of my favorite vocal performers - particularly as those performamces appear (to me) to reflect the periods of their careers when they were singing at or near their best. Thus, I seem to prefer the quality of Sarah Vaughan's voice, say, when she was recording in her 20s and 30s (during the 1950s), while I prefer Ella Fitzgerald's as recorded during the 1960s/'70s. Carmen McRae recorded very little before the 1950s and seems to have then arrived wih the quality of her interpretations virtually at its best right from the star (1950s and '60s) and then went slowly downhill. Bing Crosby was at his best in the early to mid-'30s but carried on (in a less jazz vein) for 40 more years. Kat Starr was at her best in her 20s (1940s) and then went very commercial. Billie Holiday had three phases at least: the 1930s when she sang as a light soprano in a most natural, innocent way; the 1940s when she was probably at her best, although with some roughness appearing at the edges as her drug, smoking and alcohol problems mounted and in the 1950s when the latter increasingly dominated but the emotion could still be heart-rending. And so on - with such as Mel Torme, June Christy, Nat Cole, etc (some already having partial entries above in this respect).

       To do this will require more information on recording dates than is generally given - where contemporary CD producers (of such origial material) seem to prefer to keep the buyer in ignorance in this regard - for their own commercial purposes. There are undated compliations galore since 2000. But increasingly available Discographies of such well known performers on the Internet do make (most gratefully) this task much easier of late.

       These respective entries will eventually be incorporated seemlessly within the present alphabetic order - which will then continue from the above point without this break - but until then, will follow initially in some arbitrary order. Thus, we begin (for no particular reason) with:

..........., ........  (19XX - 19XX)    Vocalist     .............

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