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Heard around the jazz world as the "Voice of Birdland," diminutive Pee Wee Marquette was host, hostess and crowd favorite at "Bird's Place." Marquette, known for his (?) piercing faux-soprano brought on and literally introducedsometimes malapropriatelythe greats of jazz. In this collection, gleaned from many classic "Live at Birdland" recordings, you'll hear Pee Wee shreik his classic, "Art Blake-eeee, Art Blake-eeee," bringing on the Master and his Messengers.
Being a jazzer himself, Marquette would improvise individual names, especially after he'd "request" a gratuity for doing so. "Hor-ass Silber," was rendered reminiscent of a Masked Man, as opposed to a great jazz pianist. The CD swings across the panorama of jazz greats. None other than the Prez himself, Lester, coined Pee Wee with his own monicker, calling him adoringly "Half-a-Mofo!" Prez's clip is included in the set. A DVD of intimate recollections is due out shortly.
The CD gets a review of 4 1/2. Once you hear it, you'll understand why.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.