The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums – Book
The author of the magisterial A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers now approaches the great singers and their greatest work in an innovative and revelatory way: through considering their finest albums, which is the format in which this music was most resonantly organized and presented to its public from the 1940s until the very recent decline of the CD.
It is through their albums that Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, and the rest of the glorious honor roll of jazz and pop singers have been most tellingly and lastingly appreciated, and the history of the album itself, as Will Friedwald sketches it, can now be seen as a crucial part of musical history. We come to understand that, at their finest, albums have not been mere collections of individual songs strung together arbitrarily but organic phenomena in their own right.
A Sinatra album, a Fitzgerald album, was planned and structured to show these artists at their best, at a specific moment in their artistic careers.
Yet the albums Friedwald has chosen to anatomize go about their work in a variety of ways.
There are studio and solo albums: Lee’s Black Coffee, June Christy’s Something Cool, Cassandra Wilson’s Belly of the Sun.
There are brilliant collaborations: famous ones-Tony Bennett and Bill Evans, Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson-and wonderful surprises like Doris Day and Robert Goulet singing Annie Get Your Gun.
There are theme albums-Dinah Washington singing Fats Waller, Maxine Sullivan singing Andy Razaf, Margaret Whiting singing Jerome Kern, Barb Jungr singing Bob Dylan, and the sublime Jo Stafford singing American and Scottish folk songs.
There are also stunning concert albums like Ella in Berlin, Sarah in Japan, Lena at the Waldorf, and, of course, Judy at Carnegie Hall. All the greats are on hand, from Kay Starr and Carmen McRae to Jimmy Scott and Della Reese (Della Della Cha Cha Cha).
And, from out of left field, the astounding God Bless Tiny Tim.
Each of the fifty-seven albums discussed here captures the artist at a high point, if not at the expected moment, of her or his career.
The individual cuts are evaluated, the sequencing explicated, the songs and songwriters heralded, anecdotes abound of how songs were born and how artists and producers collaborated.
And in appraising each album, Friedwald balances his own opinions with those of musicians, listeners, and critics.
A monumental achievement, The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums is an essential book for lovers of American jazz and popular music.
“Will Friedwald’s thoughtful analysis and insight into the background and nuances of the music by the artists featured in his book make each song a more enriching experience for casual listeners and music aficionados alike. I’m honored to be included and grateful to Will for keeping the American Songbook and jazz classics relevant for generations to come.”
“Absolutely indispensable . . . Friedwald . . . brings his rare ability to write about singing in a way that effectively bridges impressionistic interpretation with musical analysis to the task of ‘reading’ an album the way a literary critic reads a poem. The result is never less than perceptive and often stop-in-your tracks brilliant. . . . A magnificent achievement.”
-Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)
“With verve and an infectious love of music, jazz critic Friedwald tells the stories of fifty-seven jazz and pop albums that have become benchmarks by which subsequent records have been measured. . . . His passionate description of each album in this indispensable guide will drive readers to listen to the albums once again, or for the first time.”
-Publishers Weekly, starred review
Table of Contents:
Preface and Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The Origins and Development of the Pop Music Album from To Mother to The Voice xiii
- Louis Armstrong, Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson 3
- Fred Astaire, The Astaire Story 11
- Chet Baker, Let’s Get Lost: The Best of Chet Baker Sings 25
- Tony Bennett and Bill Evans, The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album and Together Again 34
- Ray Charles, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music 43
- June Christy, Something Cool 50
- Rosemary Clooney, Blue Rose 59
- Nat King Cole, After Midnight 69
- Nat King Cole, St. Louis Blues 76
- Bing Crosby, Bing with a Beat 82
- Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong, Bing & Satchmo 91
- Doris Day, Day by Day and Day by Night 97
- Doris Day and Robert Goulet, Annie Get Your Gun 105
- Blossom Dearie, My Gentleman Friend 112
- Matt Dennis, Matt Dennis Plays and Sings Matt Dennis Bobby Troup, Bobby Troup Sings Johnny Mercer 117
- Billy Eckstine, Billy’s Best! 127
- Ella Fitzgerald, Lullabies of Birdland 134
- Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Ella & Louis 142
- Ella Fitzgerald, Mack the Knife: Ella in Berlin 148
- Judy Garland, Judy at Carnegie Hall 154
- Johnny Hartman, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman 163
- Dick Haymes, Rain or Shine 171
- Billie Holiday, Lady in Satin 177
- Lena Horne, Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria 184
- Barb Jungr, Every Grain of Sand: Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan 190
- Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, and Annie Ross, Sing a Song of Basie Annie Ross, Sings a Song with Mulligan! 197
- Eydie Gormé and Steve Lawrence, Eydie and Steve Sing the Golden Hits 209
- Peggy Lee, Black Coffee 214
- Peggy Lee, The Man I Love 221
- Marilyn Maye, Meet Marvelous Marilyn Maye 228
- Carmen McRae, As Time Goes By: Live at the Dug 234
- Anita O’Day, Anita O’Day Sings the Winners 241
- Della Reese, Della Della Cha Cha Cha 250
- Jimmy Scott, The Source and Lost and Found 255
- Bobby Short, Bobby Short 265
- Nina Simone, Nina Simone and Piano! 272
- Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours 280
- Frank Sinatra, Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! 288
- Jo Stafford, Jo Stafford Sings American Folk Songs and Jo Stafford Sings Songs of Scotland 297
- Jo Stafford, I’ll Be Seeing You (G.I. Jo) 307
- Kay Starr, I Cry by Night 314
- Maxine Sullivan, Memories of You: A Tribute to Andy Razaf 321
- Jack Teagarden, Think Well of Me 329
- Tiny Tim, God Bless Tiny Tim 338
- Mel Tormé, Mel Tormé with the Marty Paich Dek-Tette (Lulu’s Back in Town) 347
- Sarah Vaughan, Sarah Vaughan 355
- Sarah Vaughan, “Live” in Japan 361
- Dinah Washington, Dinah Washington Sings Fats Waller 368
- Margaret Whiting, Margaret Whiting Sings the Jerome Kern Song Book 376
- Lee Wiley, Night in Manhattan 383
- Cassandra Wilson, Belly of the Sun 390
Hardcover : 432 Pages – Illustrated
Author: Will Friedwald
Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 2cm