Rita Moss (vcl, p, org, perc), Sonny Dunham, Neal hefti, George Williams (arr, dir), Buck Clayton (tp), Kai Winding (tb), Artie Baker (as), George Berg, Al Klink, Boomie Richman (ts), Bernie Leighton, Teddy Napoleon (p), Art Ryerson, George Barnes, Sam Bruno (g), Irv Manning (b), Don Lamond, Sonny Igoe (d)
Reference: FSRCD 983
Bar code: 8427328609838
Although Rita Moss (1918-2015) took piano lessons as a child, she was mostly a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who could play piano, organ and drums. She later became a singer too, endowed with a unique sound.
In June 1952, Jet magazine said: “Yma Sumac has a rival in cute Rita Moss, who has a sensational four-octave range voice. She is due for a bigtime treatment.” Her voice was a finely tuned instrument, played with the passionate fever of an artist in search for perfection. This, paired with her captivating act as a live performer, earned her the appreciation of fans, and eventually the nickname “Queen Moss” for her zealous, almost cult-like following.
After her first album, a writer at Billboard mentioned she had a “breezy, whimsical style that does not obscure the solidity of her jazz conceptions,” qualities that would remain constant throughout her career.
"It completely amazes me how many fantastic singers were around a half century ago, and how so many of them have become overlooked. Take my advice; before you plop down some money for today’s singers who all sound like everyone else, give a listen to these ladies who sound fresher, swing harder and have more style and sass than any dozen around today.
Rita Moss (1918-2015) boasted a four octave vocal ranged and could also play piano, organ and drums. She had a successful jazz career in the 50s, with a handful of sessions included on this 23 song single disc. A 1951 session has her in a pop mode on “I’ll Be Waiting For You” while a big band conducted and arranged by Neal Hefti and including Buck Clayton/tp, Kai Winding/tb and George Barnes/g has her sweet on “Darlin’”. She shows here opera chops not dissimilar to Betty Roché on a '52 session with strings that includes “You Never Had It So Good” and a woodwinded “Memories Of You.” She’s all by herself on piano, organ and bongos for a 56-57 recording that has her bluesy on “I Got It Band and That Ain’t Good” and she comes across like King Pleasure as she sings along with her organ on a hep “Bopligatto.” Classy on a wide range of fronts."
George W. Harris (December 16, 2019)
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