April 19, 2009


(The inimitable Mr. B and associates)

Somebody asked me who I thought my favorite Jazz singer was. I admit that was a really tough question because there are so many - the list is pretty endless. And to be honest, I would have to declare a six or seven way tie because, for my money to leave out Billy Eckstine would mean leaving out Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday and Johnny Hartman and Anita O'Day and Chris Connor - the list just doesn't stop.

But I remembered one of my favorite versions of "In The Still Of The Night" with Eckstine when he led an orchestra that was probably the single most amazing grouping of musicians ever assembled just post World War 2. But then I remembered the pairing of Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane. See my problem?

And then there's Bud Powell. You just can't have one single favorite when it comes to music - certainly Jazz where an artists individual point of view is probably more critical than other musical forms, because it is possible to hear the same song a thousand different ways and they all sound different. That's probably why I've never been bored with Jazz.

I ran across this live club date featuring a double bill of Bud Powell on the first half and Billy Eckstine with a small group on the second half. It all comes from the Birdland on 52nd Street in New York one July night in 1953.

Very nice stuff and a nice way to mellow out the weekend.


(Bud Powell in 1953)

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