Two of the best jazz vocal LPs of 1957 from one of the great female stylists, both of which were five-star rated by Downbeat magazine.
Oscar Peterson was one of Anita O'Day's favourite musicians. After his death at the end of 2007 this is a timely reminder of his superb accompanying work from an earlier period while the singer proves herself one of the few genuine jazz vocalists with original interpretations of a set of standards including 'Old Devil Moon', 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered'.
The bonus album, "Pick Yourself Up" was recorded with the star-studded Buddy Bregman Orchestra. Members included the Candoli brothers, Stan Getz, Jimmy Giuffre, Bud Shank, Barney Kessel, Frank Rosolino and Shelly Manne among others.
01. MEDLEY (2:59):
a) S WONDERFUL
b) THEY CANT TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME
02. LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME (2:37)
03. OLD DEVIL MOON (2:57)
04. TENDERLY (3:23)
05. WELL BE TOGETHER AGAIN (3:41)
06. STELLA BY STARLIGHT (2:07)
07. THEM THERE EYES (2:41)
08. TAKIN A CHANCE ON LOVE (2:25)
09. IVE GOT THE WORLD ON A STRING (4:01)
10. YOU TURNED THE TABLES ON ME (3:45)
11. BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED (3:59)
12. DONT BE THAT WAY (2:35)
13. LETS FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE (3:19)
14. I USED TO BE COLOR BLIND (3:11)
15. PICK YOURSELF UP (3:09)
16. LETS BEGIN (2:23)
17. SWEET GEORGIA BROWN (4:17)
18. I NEVER HAD A CHANCE (4:25)
19. STOMPIN AT THE SAVOY (3:21)
20. I WONT DANCE (3:29)
21. THERES A LULL IN MY LIFE (3:21)
22. MAN WITH A HORN (3:59)
23. STARS FELL ON ALABAMA (2:53)
24. THE GETAWAY AND THE CHASE (2:29) (*) Bonus Track
Total time: 77:27 min.
Tracks #1-11 from "Anita O'Day Sings For Oscar" (American Recording Society G-426). An special reissue of "Anita Sings The Most" (Verve MG V-8259).
Tracks #12-23 from "Pick Yourself Up With Anita O'Day" (Verve MG V-2043).
Personnel on tracks #1-11: Anita O'Day (vcl), Oscar Peterson (p), Herb Ellis (g), Ray Brown (b) and John Poole (d). Recorded in Chicago, on January 31, 1957.
Personnel on tracks #12-15: Anita O'Day (vcl), Larry Bunker (vib, bongos), Paul Smith (p), Barney Kessell (g), Joe Mondragon (b) and Alvin Stoller (d), Buddy Bregman (arr). Recorded in Los Angeles, on December 18, 1956.
Personnel on tracks #16-24: Anita O'Day (vcl) with The Buddy Bregman Orchestra featuring Pete Candoli, Conte Candoli (tp), Frank Rosolino (tb), Bud Shank (as), Stan Getz (ts), Jimmy Giuffre (bs), Paul Smith (p), Barney Kessel (g), Joe Mondragon (b) and Shelly Manne (d). Recorded in Los Angeles, on February 23 & December 19-20, 1956.
-Anita O'Day Sings For Oscar
"Originally issued as Anita Sings the Most, this album was picked up by the American Recording Society and sent out to its members as Anita Sings for Oscar. This was her fifth album for Norman Granz's Verve Records, the label that supplied most of the ARS releases and, some say, her best. Pairing O'Day and Peterson was akin to joining Vladimir Horowitz with Arturo Toscanini. It was a mystery who would finish first on the upbeat numbers, as both liked to keeping matters moving along at a rather brisk pace. This contest is afoot on the opening medley of "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "'S Wonderful," and "Love Me or Leave Me," where they both manage to finish in a tie. O'Day was so much a dyed-in-the-wool jazz singer that she had no problem staying with the jazz licks of Peterson's combo, which at this time included bassist Ray Brown, Herb Ellis on guitar, and the rare presence of a drummer, here John Poole. This album is noted for its swinging, something that both O'Day and Peterson had few peers at. But the session also demonstrates that O'Day could do well with ballads, a skill that was often overshadowed by her affinity for the fast-paced material. Her work on "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" is simply enchanting. This meeting of two jazz icons results in a major benefit for jazz fans."
Dave Nathan -All Music Guide
-Pick Yourself Up With Anita O'Day
"For this well-rounded CD reissue that adds nine cuts to the original program, Anita O'Day, in her prime period, is mostly heard accompanied by Buddy Bregman & His Orchestra, but there are also a few tracks on which she is joined by a jazz combo featuring trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison. Highlights include "Don't Be That Way," "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Pick Yourself Up," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "I Won't Dance." Virtually all of Anita O'Day's 1950s recordings are recommended, for her drug use had not yet affected her voice and her creativity was generally at its height."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide