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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Peggy Lee Band: Invitation

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This is the fifth album, and second on Drip Audio, of Vancouver-based cellist Peggy Lee's ensemble. The Peggy Lee Band members are all solid players, and each has their turn taking the lead through this 11-song recording. The strong tunes occasionally evoke the feel and vibe of guitarist Bill Frisell's early '90s sextet classics This Land (Nonesuch, 1994) and Have a Little Faith (Nonesuch, 1993).The songs range from the vaudeville-esque “Why Are You Yelling," with its spiky yet bluesy guitar opening to “Path of a Smile," the album's best track with an urgent melody alternating with a calmer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Peggy Lee Band: Invitation

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Based in Vancouver, Canada since the early 1990s, Canadian cellist Peggy Lee has been steadily building an impressive discography. Invitation is the fifth album by her self-titled band, and the group's second release for Drip Audio. The record encompasses a broad stylistic range, revealing influences as disparate as folksy Americana and exotic Afro-pop--though Lee's harmonically sophisticated arrangements expertly balance composed and improvised elements, yielding a cohesive sum greater than its parts.The Peggy Lee Band features a young Canadian octet whose members' expertise in a wide variety of genres is keenly demonstrated throughout a diverse program, ranging from the ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Peggy Lee: Basin Street and Beyond

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Six classic albums from the vocalist Peggy Lee catch her at the height of her powers. One or two of these discs may be hard to find in 2009, but the effort of tracking them down, if successful, will be amply repaid.

Peggy Lee Basin Street EastBlue Note 1995

Like the LPs Ellington at Newport 1956 and Beauty and the Beat (in reference to singer Peggy Lee and pianist George Shearing), Basin Street East was a simulation of the live event and, moreover, a flagrant misrepresentation. Only two of the tunes on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peggy Lee Band: Worlds Apart

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By Ken Waxman

The Canadian West Coast has an abundance of known improvisers--clarinetist François Houle, drummer Dylan van der Schyff, and cellist Peggy Lee being examples--but like everywhere else, the hometown scene can be a little comfortable and self-contained. The tunes on Worlds Apart, mostly written by Lee and recorded with local musicians in her hometown, lacks a certain spark, and it suffers from an overabundance of tracks (nine). A certain indefinable heavy-handed mournfulness in Lee's cello playing also detracts from the proceeding.

Additionally, the tracks often seem to range between overly pliable lullabies and excessively prissy rustic lines. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peggy Lee: Black Coffee

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"A Woman Alone With the Blues" features sparse piano, whispering drums, and a mournful trumpet lurking in the background. But it's the vocals that really push it over the edge. Peggy Lee doesn't sing this song; she crawls into it and huddles in the dark spaces, as she does on virtually all of the songs on 1956's Black Coffee.

Lee got her start with Benny Goodman churning out hits like “Why Don't You Do Right." She used her superior vocal ability to strike out on her own like many of the big band singers of the time, who ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Canaries: Peggy Lee and Anita O'Day Reissues

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Peggy Lee Black Coffee Verve 2004 (1956)

“A Woman Alone With the Blues" features sparse piano, whispering drums, and a mournful trumpet lurking in the background. But it's the vocals that really push it over the edge. Peggy Lee doesn't sing this song; she crawls into it and huddles in the dark spaces as she does on virtually all of the songs on Black Coffee.

Lee got her start with Benny Goodman churning out hits like “Why Don't You Do Right." She used her superior vocal ability to strike out on her own like ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Douglas/Louis Sclavis/Peggy Lee/Dylan Van Der Schyff: Bow River Falls

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Recorded one afternoon during the Banff Workshop, Bow River Falls is trumpeter Dave Douglas' first cooperative effort since New and Used in the early '90s. Douglas, clarinetist Louis Sclavis, cellist Peggy Lee and drummer Dylan Van Der Schyff all contributed compositions, mostly from their earlier discographies, which were rearranged for this session. Perhaps because of the idyllic setting or the “leaderless" collaboration, the music exudes the relaxed confidence of musicians performing at their peak, despite their sparse rehearsal time. The jaunty ebullience of “Blinks," by the late Steve Lacy, provides the first workout, with Douglas and Sclavis exchanging ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Douglas/Louis Sclavis/Peggy Lee/Dylan Van Der Schyff: Bow River Falls

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With a discography that is as varied as it is large, trumpeter Dave Douglas has rightly earned the many accolades showered upon him since his emergence in the early '90s. From the Parallel Worlds string ensemble to the electronica of his Freak In group, his work has been characterized by a broad sense of exploration and an impossible-to-pigeon-hole originality. So when Kenny Werner asked him to direct the annual Banff Workshop in '02, he chose to reconvene a group that had previously played once at the '98 Vancouver Jazz Festival, consisting of cellist Peggy Lee, percussionist Dylan Van Der Schyff, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Butcher - Phil Durrant - Peggy Lee: Intentions

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Saxophonist, John Butcher and his British compatriot, violinist, Phil Durrant have performed together on numerous occasions, most notably for the “EMANEM” improvising label. Intentions marks the first trio outing, featuring the duo performing alongside Canadian cellist, Peggy Lee. And based upon the musicians’ respective pasts, the flavor of this production might satisfy many of our expectations. On this session, the trio explores contrapuntal statements amid delayed synchronizations while probing the inherent physical forces of their instruments. Throughout many of these works, Butcher’s now familiar note popping techniques and employment of multiphonics provide the strings section with a pliant framework.

The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Butcher - Phil Durrant - Peggy Lee: Intentions

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Saxophonist, John Butcher and his British compatriot, violinist, Phil Durrant have performed together on numerous occasions, most notably for the “EMANEM” improvising label. This release marks the first trio outing, featuring the former performing alongside Canadian cellist, Peggy Lee. And based upon the musicians’ respective pasts, the flavor of this production might satisfy many of our expectations. On this session, the trio explores contrapuntal statements amid delayed synchronizations while probing the inherent physical forces of their instruments. Throughout many of these works, Butcher’s now familiar note popping techniques and employment of multiphonics provide the strings section with a pliant framework. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peggy Lee/June Christy: The Complete Peggy Lee & June Christy Capitol Transcription Sessions

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Mosaic Records, for more than 15 years the purveyors of fine limited edition albums, has issued a 5-CD set of transcriptions made by June Christy and Peggy Lee for Capitol. From the 30's to the early 50's, radio stations needed additional music to put together programs featuring specific artists, mostly big bands and vocalists. Record companies were reluctant to provide copies of their commercial releases feeling that if the public could hear them on the radio, they wouldn't go out and buy them. Another advantage of transcriptions was that cuts often extended beyond the three minutes or so available on ...



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