Monday, June 4, 2018

From my dad’s CDs

I’m closing in on the end of the recorded alphabet: Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Ivie Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Mildred Bailey, Count Basie, Tony Bennett, Art Blakey, Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins, Clifford Brown, Dave Brubeck, Joe Bushkin, Hoagy Carmichael, Betty Carter, Ray Charles, Charlie Christian, Rosemary Clooney, Nat “King” Cole, John Coltrane, Bing Crosby, Miles Davis, Matt Dennis, Doris Day, Blossom Dearie, Paul Desmond, Tommy Dorsey, Billy Eckstine, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Erroll Garner, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Stéphane Grappelli, Bobby Hackett, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, Earl Hines, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Dick Hyman, Harry James, Hank Jones, Louis Jordan, Stan Kenton, Barney Kessel, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, Peggy Lee, Mary Ann McCall, Susannah McCorkle, Dave McKenna, Ray McKinley, Marian McPartland, Johnny Mercer, Helen Merrill, Glenn Miller, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Gerry Mulligan, Red Norvo, Anita O’Day, Charlie Parker, Joe Pass, Art Pepper, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Boyd Raeburn, Django Reinhardt, Marcus Roberts, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Rushing, Catherine Russell, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, Artie Shaw, George Shearing, Horace Silver, Frank Sinatra, Paul Smith, Jeri Southern, Jo Stafford, Art Tatum, Claude Thornhill, Mel Tormé, McCoy Tyner, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Venuti, Fats Waller, Fran Warren, Dinah Washington, Ethel Waters, Ben Webster, Paul Weston, Margaret Whiting, and now, Lee Wiley.

Lee Wiley (1908–1975) — I know, hardly a household name, and I’ve known her from just a single LP — was a terrific singer. I’d liken her to Billie Holiday: not a virtuoso but a distinctive and instantly recognizable voice. Leonard Feather’s Encyclopedia of Jazz (1960) calls attention to the “husky, erotic warmth” in Wiley’s voice. I’d note also the beautifully fragile, reedy quality of her high register. Here are two tunes from Night in Manhattan (Columbia, 1951), with Joe Bushkin and His Swinging Strings. Bushkin is at the piano; Bobby Hackett plays cornet:

“I’ve Got a Crush on You” (George Gershwin–Ira Gershwin)
“Manhattan” (Richard Rodgers–Lorenz Hart)

[“Vocalist Lee Wiley singing accompanied by her husband pianist Jess Stacy, Eddie Condon on guitar, Sid Weiss on bass & Cozy Cole on drums during jam session in studio of LIFE photographer Gjon Mili.” Photograph by Gjon Mili. 1943. From the Life Photo Archive. Photographs from this session appeared in the Life feature “Jam Session,” October 11, 1943. Click for a larger view.]

Thanks to Fresca for Leonard Feather’s Encyclopedia of Jazz, which includes home addresses for musicians willing to list them. It’s mid-century again in Manhattan, and Lee Wiley resides at 60 Sutton Place South.

Also from my dad’s CDs
Mildred Bailey : Tony Bennett : Charlie Christian : Blossom Dearie : Duke Ellington : Coleman Hawkins : Billie Holiday : Louis Jordan : Charlie Parker : Jimmy Rushing : Artie Shaw : Frank Sinatra : Art Tatum : Mel Tormé : Sarah Vaughan : Joe Venuti : Fats Waller

comments: 4

Frex said...

The encyclopedia appears! :)

Michael Leddy said...

Damn —I made a mental note to add a thanks to the post. So much for mental notes.

Frex said...

Maybe you used the wrong mental pencil.

Michael Leddy said...

Ha! Problem solved with a mental sharpener.