Benny Goodman – Featuring Peggy Lee (1993)

FrontCover1.jpgWhen Peggy Lee made her first recording with Benny Goodman’s orchestra, she was 19 and scared to death. The result, “Elmer’s Tune,” is one she probably wished were lost, but the other 15 recordings on this CD (all from 1941) find her improving month by month, struggling gamely through the difficult Eddie Sauter and Mel Powell arrangements. Many of these titles were formerly rare and offer an interesting look at the early Peggy Lee. (by Scott Yanow)

Just as Benny Goodman was enjoying another triumphant year in 1941, The King Of Swing attended a nightclub in Chicago when he saw a young jazz vocalist singing in a vocal group, and it was during this engagement she was hired by the bandleader to sing at the Ambassador West Hotel and the College Inn as this encounter resulted in a series of record dates from Goodman and Lee for Columbia Records. Presented in it’s own exclusive 78 set later that year, Benny Goodman Feat’ Peggy Lee bring to us a starting point for this talented young jazz vocalist who got shot to stardom with a lively set of superb songs that she performs in upbeat style after being welcomed into Goodman’s orchestra after one of it’s lead band singers, Helen Forest, had left where she took her place.

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Beginning with there first class version of the Glenn Miller classic Elmer’s Tune, which was a huge success, the track set proceeds with great harmonic excellence on other classic jazz standards that include That’s The Way it Goes, Duke Ellington’s I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good, Shady Lady, the rousing Somebody Else Is Taking My Place, Winter Weather and Not Mine, as well as snappy takes of classic pop standards that include My Old Flame, How Deep Is The Ocean? and Everything I Love until ending with the final track Not A Care In The World. Just as Goodman was enjoying another triumphant year in 1941, Benny Goodman Feat’ Peggy Lee became another milestone achievement for The King Of Swing and Lee’s rise to national fame that would result into a highly successful and prolific music career for this master jazz vocalist, which makes this full recorded session (78 set) a landmark from jazz history. (by RH, amazon.com)

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Personnel:
George Berg (saxophone)
Billy Butterfield (trumpet)
Big Sid Catlett (drums)
Ralph Collier (drums)
Cutty Cutshall (trombone)
Alvin Davis (trumpet)
Joe Ferrante (trumpet)
Chuck Gentry (saxophone)
Benny Goodman (clarinet)
Sol Kane (saxophone)
Peggy Lee (vocals)
Art Lund (vocals)
Skip Martin (saxophone)
Jimmy Maxwell (trumpet)
Lou McGarity (trombone)
Tom Morgan (guitar)
Vido Musso (saxophone)
Clint Neagley (saxophone)
Mel Powell (piano)
Bernie Privin (trumpet)
Julie Schwartz (saxophone)
John Simmons (bass)
Morty Stuhlmaker (drums, bass)
Sid Weiss (bass)
Cootie Williams (trumpet)

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Tracklist:
01. Elmer’s Tune (Albrecht/Gallop/Jurgens) 2.53
02. I See A Million People (But All I Can See Is You) (Carlisle/Sour) 2.45
03. That’s the Way It Goes (Robin/Alex Wilder/Alexander Wilder) 3.10
04. I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) (Ellington/Webster) 3.17
05. My Old Flame (Coslow/Johnston) 3.09
06. How Deep Is the Ocean? (Berlin) 3.07
07. Shady Lady Bird (Blane/Martin) 2.47
08. Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) (Porter) 2.03
09. Somebody Else Is Taking My Place (Ellsworth/Howard/Morgan) 3.11
10. Somebody Nobody Loves (Miller) 3.23
11. How Long Has This Been Going On? (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 3.17
12. That Did It, Marie (Higginbotham) 3.13
13. Winter Weather (Shapiro) 3.03
14. Ev’rything I Love (Porter) 3.06
15. Not Mine (Mercer/Schertzinger) 3.20
16. Not A Care In The World (Duke/Latouche) 3.22

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Peggy Lee – Blues Cross Country (1962)

FrontCover1Blues Cross Country is a 1962 studio album by Peggy Lee, principally arranged by Quincy Jones, with some arrangements by Benny Carter. The album can be described as a concept album, consisting of a musical journey across the United States through swinging blues songs, many of which were written by Lee with other contributors.Blues Cross Country is a 1962 studio album by Peggy Lee, principally arranged by Quincy Jones, with some arrangements by Benny Carter. The album can be described as a concept album, consisting of a musical journey across the United States through swinging blues songs, many of which were written by Lee with other contributors.
Blues Cross Country was the second of Lee’s two albums featuring arrangements by Jones. He had also arranged her previous studio album, If You Go (1961). (by wikipedia)

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Peggy Lee and Quincy Jones

One of Peggy Lee’s most intriguing concept LPs of the ’50s and ’60s, Blues Cross Country teams her with the Quincy Jones Orchestra on a set of swinging blues set all over America, almost like a continental version of Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me.” She balances standards like “Basin Street Blues,” “St. Louis Blues,” “I Left My Sugar (In Salt Lake City),” and “Goin’ to Chicago Blues” alongside collaborations with Jones on “Los Angeles Blues,” “New York City Blues,” and “The Train Blues.” (She is also the lyricist of four other songs PeggyLee02on the album.) Though Jones’ arrangements are often a touch brassier than the blues standards can handle, Lee contributes just the right blend of vigor and feeling to the songs. Blues Cross Country also includes her first waxing of the Leiber & Stoller song “Kansas City,” which looks forward to her successful performances of their “I’m a Woman,” “Is That All There Is?,” and the Mirrors album. At a little over half-an-hour, it is a brief LP, and the 1999 CD reissue has two additional tracks. From the same spring 1961 sessions that produced the album came Lee’s single recording of Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh’s “Hey! Look Me Over,” the most popular song to emerge from the 1960 Broadway musical Wildcat, also arranged by Quincy Jones. Skipping ahead five years, there was another Lee single, “The Shining Sea,” which she wrote with Johnny Mandel, who also arranged it. Neither song fits in with the album’s concept, but they at least add more than four minutes to its running time. (by William Ruhlmann)

This not only a hot easy listening album, but a great album with Big Band music with a real hot voice … Peggy Lee at her best !

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Personnel:
Bob Bain (guitar)
Max Bennett (bass)
Hoyt Bohannon (trombone)
Aubrey Bouck (french horn)
Dennis Budimir (guitar)
Larry Bunker (percussion)
Pete Candolli (trumpet)
Benny Carter (saxophone, tuba)
Buddy Collette (saxophone)
Bob Cooper (woodwind)
Bob Fowler (trumpet)
Vern Friley (trombone)
Justin Gordon (saxophone)
Conrad Gozzo (trumpet)
Joe Graves (trumpet)
Bill Green (saxophone)
Chico Guerrero (percussion)
Bill Henshaw (rench horn)
Plas Johnson (saxophone)
Artie Kane (organ)
Harry Klee (woodwind)
Bobby Knight (trombone)
Peggy Lee (vocals)
Lou Levy (piano)
Stan Levey (drums)
Sinclair Lott (french horn)
Lew McCreary (trombone)
Dick Nash (trombone)
Jack Nimitz (saxophone)
Earl Palmer (drums)
Bill Perkins (saxophone)
John Pisano (guitar)
Al Porcino (trumpet)
Emil Richards (percussion)
George Roberts (trombone)
Howard Roberts (guitar)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Bud Shank (woodwind)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Tommy Shepard (trombone)
Henry Sigismonti (french horn)
Frank Strazzeri (piano)
Toots Thielemans (guitar)
Ray Triscari (trumpet)

Arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones

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Tracklist:
01. Kansas City (Leiber/Stoller) – 2:29
02. Basin Street Blues (Williams) – 3:04
03. Los Angeles Blues (Lee/Jones) – 2:38
04. I Left My Sugar in Salt Lake City (Lange/ Rene) – 2:53
05. The Grain Belt Blues (Lee/Raskin/Schugler) – 1:52
06. York City Blues (Jones/Lee) 3:21
07. Goin’ to Chicago Blues (Basie/Rushing) – 2:37
08. San Francisco Blues (Lee/Raskin) – 2:37
09. Fisherman’s Wharf (Lee/Raskin) – 3:11
10. Boston Beans (Lee/Raskin/Schugler) 2:05
11. The Train Blues (Jones/Lee) 2:42
12. Saint Louis Blues (Handy) – 2:15
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13. Hey, Look Me Over! (Cy Coleman/Leigh) – 1:55
14. The Shining Sea (Lee/Mandel) – 2:45

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Louis Armstrong & Friends – What A Wonderful Christmas (1997)

FrontCover1Although this Christmas compilation is credited to “Louis Armstrong & Friends,” it’s really more aptly categorized as a various artists anthology, since Armstrong only has six of the fourteen tracks. The disc is filled out with seasonal offerings by Dinah Washington, Mel Torme, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, mostly from the 1950s. It’s pleasant pop-jazz that doesn’t rate among the highlights of any of these talented artists’ careers. But it makes for an above-average Christmas disc, especially on Lionel Hampton’s “Merry Christmas, Baby,” Louis Armstrong’s “Cool Yule,” and Louis Jordan’s “May Everyday Be Christmas,” which celebrate the holiday with more gutsy hipness than the usual Yuletide fare. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Tracklist:
01. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas In New Orleans (Sherman(/v.Winkle) 2.54
02. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: White Christmas (Berlin) 2.39
03. Dinah Washington: Silent Night (Gruber/More) 2.23
04. Mel Torme: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 3.07
05. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas Time In Harlem (Scott/Paris) 2.39
06. Peggy Lee: It´s Christmas Time Again (Burke/Elliott/Harwood) 3.00
07. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: Cool Yule (Allen) 2.55
08. Lionel Hampton: Merry Christmas, Baby (Moore/Baxter) 3.22
09. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: ‘Zat You, Santa Claus? (Fox) 2.40
10. Eartha Kitt/Henri Rene Orchestra: Santa Baby (P.Springer/T.Springer/Javils) 3.26
11. Duke Ellington: JIngle Bells (Pierpont) 3.00
12. Lena Horne: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.43
13. Louis Jordan: May Everyday Be Christmas (Jordan) 3.11
14. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 3.00

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