The late, great Anita ODay was perhaps the finest of the comparative handful of jazz singers good enough to emerge enhanced from the over-riding influence of Billie Holiday. So, when she made Travlin Light as a tribute to her inspiration, it was doubly appropriate that it was one of ODays most successful albums. The overall mood is one of restraint. On these sides ODay is at her relaxed, unself-conscious best, sure and swinging, with a deftness and grace that few vocalists could match.
At least half of the credit for this goes to arranger-conductor Johnny Mandel, whose charts for the larger ensemble are conceived with taste and intelligence. On All the Sad Young Men, she again demonstrates her ability to reshape songs through individual interpretation, in a take-it-or-leave-it style that left no doubt about the strength of her personality. Although it features such well-worn standards as St. Louis and Do Nothing, the highlights are new songs by young composers.
The man responsible for the striking arrangements was the late Gary McFarland, one of the brightest young composer-arrangers to emerge from the 60s scene. Anita ODays years of experience taught her just about every trick in the vocalists book, and more besides. She was a tough customer and a rough diamond, and though she mellowed and matured as the years passed, she remained unmistakably a diamond among jazz singers.
01. Travlin Light (Mundy-Mercer) 3:32
02. The Moon Looks Down and Laughs (Ruby-Kamar-Silvers) 3:55
03. Dont Explain (Holiday-Herzog,Jr) 3:09
04. Remember (Berlin) 2:36
05. Some Other Spring (Herzog,Jr-Kitchings) 2:24
06. What a Little Moonlight Can Do (MacGregor) 2:27
07. Miss Brown to You (Whiting-Rainger-Robin) 4:00
08. God Bless the Child (Holiday-Herzog,Jr) 2:06
09. If the Moon Turns Green (Hanighen-Cates) 2:53
10. I Hear Music (Loesser-Lane) 2:13
11. Lover Come Back to Me (Romberg-Hammerstein II) 2:48
12. Crazy He Calls Me (Sigman-Russell) 3:23
13. Boogie Blues (Krupa-Biondi) 3:44
14. You Came a Long Way from St. Louis (Brooks-Russell) 4:12
15. I Want to Sing a Song (Mcfarland-Guryan) 2:42
16. A Woman Alone with the Blues (Robison) 3:17
17. The Ballad of All the Sad Young Men (Wolf-Landesman) 4:23
18. Do Nothin Till You Hear from Me (Ellington-Russell) 4:06
19. One More Mile (McFarland-Paxton) 2:38
20. Night Bird (Cohn-Malone) 3:55
21. Up State (McFarland) 2:29
22. Señor Blues (Silver) 2:44
Tracks #1-12 from the Verve album "Trav'lin' Light" (V6-2157)
Tracks #13-22 from the Verve album "All the Sad Young Men" (V6-8442)
Personnel on "Trav'lin' Light":
Tracks #1,3 & 9-12: Johnny Mandel's Orchestra
John Anderson, Al Porcino, Jack Sheldon, Ray Triscari (tp); Stu Williamson (v-tb), Lew McCreary, Dick Nash, Frank Rosolino (tb); Joe Maini (as, ts); Chuck Gentry (bs); Larry Bunker (vib); Russ Freeman (p); Al Viola (g); Buddy Clark (b); Mel Lewis (d) Johnny Mandel (arr, dir).
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Los Angeles, on January 18, 1961
Tracks #2,4 & 5-7: Barney Kessel Sextet
Don Fagerquist (tp), Ben Webster (ts), Jimmy Rowles (p), Barney Kessel (g), Buddy Clark (b), Mel Lewis (d).
On track #8 Anita ODay accompanied by Barney Kessel on guitar.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Los Angeles, on January 19, 1961
Personnel on "All The Sad Young Men":
Anita O'Day with the Gary McFarland Orchestra
Doc Severinsen, Bernie Glow, Herb Pomeroy (tp); Willie Dennis, Billy Byers (tb); Bob Brookmeyer (v-tb); Walt Levinsky, Phil Woods (as, cl, woodwinds), Jerome Richardson, Zoot Sims (ts, woodwinds); Hank Jones (p); Barry Galbraith (g); George Duvivier (b); Roy Haynes (d). Gary McFarland (arr, dir).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on October 16, 1961
Anita O'Day vocals overdubbed at Sunset Recorders, Los Angeles, on November-December, 1961
Original recordings supervised by Russell Garcia
Producer: Norman Granz (Verve Records)
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol.
Stereo 24-Bit Digitally Remastered