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News: Video / DVD

12 YouTube Clips of Anita O'Day

12 YouTube Clips of Anita O'Day

Anita O'Day was one of jazz's first “slick chicks." Born Anita Colton in 1919, O'Day was raised in Chicago. She left home during the Depression at age 14 to become a walk-a-thon contestant—the last person standing after sleepless hours won a cash prize. Dance-a-thons would soon follow. In 1936, O'Day began singing professionally and fronted her ...

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News: Video / DVD

Julie London Turns Winter to Summer

Julie London Turns Winter to Summer

JazzWax readers know I traditionally feature Julie London on Christmas Day, but today I wanted to take a beat to let you know what a great singer she is any time of year. To me, London is a consummate jazz singer—from her tone to her phrasing. Like Anita O'Day, London had an understated hipness built into ...

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News: Video / DVD

Sy Oliver's Arrangements in 10 Clips

Sy Oliver's Arrangements in 10 Clips

Yesterday's post on arranger, trumpeter and vocalist Sy Oliver generated many emails from readers who have long loved his work and those who weren't familiar with him. In yesterday's post, I shared some of Oliver's classic arrangements for Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. To drive home Oliver's importance and influence, here are 10 of my favorite ...

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News: Video / DVD

Moonlighting With the Countsmen

Moonlighting With the Countsmen

Count Basie was able to hold onto players for long periods of time because the band was fun, it had enormous global prestige and the experience was like being with family. But there were other factors. So long as the band wasn't in the studio or didn't have to play that day, his sidemen were free ...

News: Video / DVD

Lola Albright Sings in 'Peter Gunn'

Lola Albright Sings in 'Peter Gunn'

In the Peter Gunn TV series (1958-1961), Lola Albright played Edie Hart, the singing sultry girlfriend of Gunn, played by Craig Stevens. Lately, Youtubers have been uploading clips of her singing in the series. So while I'm away this weekend (no, I didn't impulsively split for Sicily), I'm leaving you with clips of Lola in action ...

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News: Video / DVD

A Craving for Oscar Peterson

A Craving for Oscar Peterson

Yesterday, for some reason, I had a yen for Oscar Peterson. I'm not sure what triggered it. Perhaps it was the desire to create a sound wall as I wrote one of my “House Call" columns. Or maybe it came as I thought about Peterson's Motions and Emotions album from 1969. At any rate, I hopped ...

News: Video / DVD

Celebrating Sarah Vaughan at 99

Celebrating Sarah Vaughan at 99

Today is the 99th anniversary of Sarah Vaughan's birth—March 27, 1924. She was the first post war female vocalist shaped by the bebop movement of the mid-1940s, not the swing era of the 1930s and early 1940s. And her stylistic phrasing probably had a greater influence on female vocalists who followed her than any other singer ...

News: Video / DVD

Mark Murphy, 1972-1991 (Pt. 2)

Mark Murphy, 1972-1991 (Pt. 2)

Yesterday, on what would have been vocalist Mark Murphy's 91st birthday (he died in 2015), I posted 10 favorite clips in the early part of his career, between 1956 and 1962. Murphy then left for the U.K.,where he remained until his return in 1972. When he arrived back in the U.S., there was a new artistic ...

News: Video / DVD

Mark Murphy, 1956-1962 (Pt. 1)

Mark Murphy, 1956-1962 (Pt. 1)

Jackie Paris and Mark Murphy had a lot in common. Both were hip club singers with bop flexibility and a natural sense of swing. But where Paris took Charlie Parker as his inspiration, Murphy was more enamored of Miles Davis. Murphy, of course, began his recording career nearly 10 years after Paris, and while Paris had ...

News: Video / DVD

Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra, 1946-'49

Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra, 1946-'49

In 1946, Dizzy Gillespie figured out how to get an elephant to dance on an overturned shot glass. As one of bebop's creators, Gillespie was at heart a big-band man and yearned to lead one. While he initially launched bop as a small-group form, Gillespie wanted to see if it could be leveraged credibly for 15 ...


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