192

Lee Wiley: Complete Fifties Studio Masters

Craig Jolley By

Sign in to view read count
Like most great ballad singers Lee Wiley was grounded in the blues. Not that blues monopolized her repertoire (There is only one blues among the 51 tunes in this two-CD set.), but her blues-informed phrasing and timing gave her music a depth beyond that of the let's-cut-to-the-chase cutie pies. Combined with her cool, sensual sound and tiny vibrato (This is where Peggy Lee came from.) she was the preferred singer of many contemporary jazz musicians. By the 1950's her voice had started to deteriorate, but the music in this release remains an essential part of her catalog.

The title "Complete Fifties Studio Masters” is somewhat misleading. The tunes with Windhurst and Wein are mid-fi live recordings (not studio). Those with Joe Bushkin (clanky piano) are from 1965. Wiley recorded 26 tunes in the mid-50's (RCA) with Billy Butterfield and Ralph Burns that are not included.

Bobby Hackett (cornet) backs Wiley wonderfully on the first eight numbers, the cream of the crop. "I've Got a Crush on You," a tune Wiley put on the map with her 1939 Gershwin songbook, is redefined here as a slow ballad. (Gershwin originally wrote it as a rhythm tune.) On the Berlin (cuts 9 - 16) and Youmans Songbooks (cuts 17 - 24) she is backed by shimmering twin pianos. (They beat twin accordions, but not by much.) Still "More than You Know" and "Time on My Hands" are standouts, and her singing on the others is very musical. The Windhurst - Wein session comes off better than expected, especially considering potential ego problems. The best to be said about the Prager cuts is there are only four. Those with Braff and Jones (a premier accompanist) are almost at the same level as the ones with Hackett. On the final six tunes only pianist Joe Bushkin accompanies her. Beyond the sympathetic chemistry there is an effective contrast between Bushkin (plays ahead of the beat) and Wiley (lags behind).

http://www.disconforme.com

Track Listing: A Woman's Intuition; Sugar; Any Time, Any Day, Anywhere; Ghost of a Chance; Oh! Look at Me Now; Street of Dreams; Manhattan; I've Got a Crush on You; Soft Lights and Sweet Music; Fools Fall in Love; Supper Time; Some Sunny Day; I Got Lost in His Arms; Heat Wave; How Many Times; How Deep Is the Ocean; Why Oh Why?; Sometimes I'm Happy; I'm Keepin' Myself for You; Should I be Sweet?; Tea for Two; Rise 'n' Shine; More Than You Know; Time on My Hands; Any Time, Any Day, Anywhere; Ghost of a Chance; Street of Dreams; Soft Lights and Sweet Music; Some Sunny Day; Chicken Today and Feathers Tomorrow; Somebody Loves Me; The Man I Love; When a Lady Meets a Gentleman Down South; Paradise; Careless Love; The Old Man on the Mountain; My Heart Stood Still; Glad to be Unhappy; Funny Valentine; Give It Back to the Indians; My Romance; You Took Advantage of Me; Mountain Greenery; It Never Entered My Mind; When I Leave the World Behind; Why Shouldn't I; The Lonesome Road; Someday, You'll Be Sorry; I Left My Heart in San Francisco; Indiana.

Personnel: Bobby Hackett with Joe Bushkin and his Swinging Strings; Stan Freeman and Cy Walter, twin pianos; Johnny Windhurst - George Wein quartet; Carl Prager Orchestra; Ruby Braff - Jimmy Jones quartet; Joe Bushkin.

| Record Label: Jazz Factory, The | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Wrong is Right" CD/LP/Track Review Wrong is Right
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Repeater" CD/LP/Track Review Repeater
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966" CD/LP/Track Review Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966
by Doug Collette
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "House Of Waters" CD/LP/Track Review House Of Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "Flying Machines" CD/LP/Track Review Flying Machines
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!