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Irene Reid

Irene Reid, singer who toured and recorded with Count Basie’s band and appeared on Broadway in “The Wiz.” A jazz vocalist whose style was heavily laced with elements of gospel and the blues, Ms. Reid never achieved as much success as contemporaries like Dinah Washington and Esther Phillips who took a similar approach. But she worked steadily, and she finished her life on a high note with a surprising career resurgence. Born in Savannah, Ga., on Sept. 23, 1930, Ms. Reid began singing in a church choir there and moved to New York in 1947 to pursue a singing career. After winning the Apollo Theater’s amateur contest several times, she spent two years with the Dick Vance band at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem before going out on her own. She joined the Basie band in 1961 and stayed for a year, then formed her own small group, Irene Reid and Company, and recorded two big-band albums for Verve, one of the leading jazz labels of the period. But probably her most prominent job in the post-Basie years was on Broadway, where she briefly joined the cast of “The Wiz” as the wicked witch Evillene, the role originated by Mabel King. In 1997, after two decades spent largely under the show-business radar, Ms. Reid began recording for the small Savant label with the organist Charles Earland. Her album “Million Dollar Secret” was the first of six she released as a leader in her last years " more than she had in her entire career up to that time. She also worked frequently at Smoke, the Lenox Lounge and other New York nightclubs until a few years ago, when health problems forced her to stop performing.


Jazz From The Vinyl Junkyard

Irene Reid: Room For One More

Read "Irene Reid: Room For One More" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Irene Reid Room For One More Verve 1965

The really great jazz vocalists share something in common with their renowned instrumental counterparts. That is, they possess a truly identifiable sound and approach that cannot be mistaken for another. For just two examples, any jazz fan worth their weight could identify Frank Sinatra or Dinah Washington in a mere few notes. Truth is though, there were many vocal artists in the '50s and '60s that ...

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Funeral Services for Irene Reid & Earl May

Funeral Services for Irene Reid & Earl May

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

Irene Reid Funeral Services: This Thursday: January 10th, 2008 The Greater Zion Hill Baptist Church at 127th and 8th Avenue Time: Viewing from 2-6:30 Services from 6:30 on at the church

Earl May Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. BETHANY BAPTIST CHURCH 275 Market Street Newark, NJ

Irene Reid The last of a ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Thanks To You

Unknown label


The Lady From Savannah

Intakt Records


Two Of Us

Intakt Records


Didn't We

Intakt Records


The World Needs What...

Intakt Records


A Man Only Does (What...

Intakt Records




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