Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Album of the Day 3/16/11

Every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Wednesday’s album is #685:

Anita O’Day – The Lady Is a Tramp

Originally titled Anita O’Day Sings Jazz when it was first released in 1952, her debut album is sassy and fearless. With a carefree rasp as she went up the scale, she sang like she was bulletproof, which is probably how she felt since she was so wasted most of the time in those days. Some singers wrestle with their vulnerability, but Anita O’Day (pig latin for “I need dough,” appropriate for a junkie) swung her voice like a sharp little axe. Backed by a boisterous, inspired quartet, she rips through a bunch of mostly upbeat, bluesy numbers and ends up reinventing half of them. Rock n Roll Blues? Remember, this was before Chuck Berry. Love For Sale is sardonic to the extreme; she rocks out Lullaby of the Leaves, turns Lover Come Back to Me from sadness to cynicism, does an absolutely conspiratorial version of Speak Low and then flips the script and gives the novelty song No Soap, No Hope Blues some genuine poignancy. Pagan Love Song, however, is just what it ought to sound like. And maybe because of the title, finding a working set of files for this album is like looking for a needle in a haystack. In lieu of the needle (ha ha) we give you a marvelous Anita mixtape via planetbarberella.

March 15, 2011 - Posted by | jazz, lists, Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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