Queen Moss 1951-1959
  • Epic LN 3201
    Epic LN 3201
  • Clef EP-256
    Clef EP-256
  • Decca 27873
    Decca 27873
  • Glenn 1001
    Glenn 1001
  • Rita Moss
    Rita Moss

Rita Moss

Queen Moss 1951-1959

Fresh Sound Records

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.

01. I Never Was So Surprised (Richard Criger) 2:56
02. I'll Be Waiting for You (Richard Criger) 2:56
03. Darlin' (Reckling-Millinder) 3:20
04. Love Me Or Please Let Me Be (Carrington-Glover) 3:11
05. You Never Had It So Good (Lawton) 3:16
06. When Day Is Done (DeSylva-Katscher) 2:38
07. Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe (Arlen-Harburg) 2:43
08. Memories of You (Razaf-Blake) 3:18
09. Jungle Drums (Lecuona-Lombardo-O’Flynn) 2:39
10. One Hundred Years from Today (Young-Washington) 3:17
11. This Can't Be Love (Rodgers-Hart) 2:26
12. Did I Remember (Donaldson-Adamson) 4:28
13. Take the “A” Train (Billy Strayhorn) 2:18
14. I Got It Bad and that Ain’t Good (Ellington-Webster) 3:09
15. Bopligatto (Rita Moss) 2:27
16. Exactly Like You (McHugh-Fields) 3:42
17. My Romance (Rodgers-Hart) 5:05
18. I Only Have Eyes for You (Warren-Dubin) 2:33
19. Love Is Here to Stay (G. & I. Gershwin) 3:53
20. The Blue Room (Rodgers-Hart) 3:32

Album details

Tracks #1 & 2, from 78 rpm, Glenn 1001
Tracks #3 & 4, from the 78 rpm, Decca 27873
Tracks #5 - 8, from the 45 rpm, Clef EP-256
Tracks #9 - 20, from the LP “Introducing Rita Moss” (Epic LN 3201)
Tracks #21 & 22, from the 45 rpm, Debonair D139/D137
Track #23, from the 45 rpm, Rozell K80H-1198

Personnel on #1 & 2:
Rita Moss & The Satisfiers with Sonny Dunham's Orchestra
Recorded in New York City, Spring 1951

Personnel on #3 & 4:
Rita Moss with Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by Neal Hefti
Buck Clayton, trumpet; Kai Winding, trombone; Artie Baker, alto sax; George Berg, tenor sax; Bernie Leighton, piano; Art Ryerson, George Barnes, guitar; Irv Manning, bass; Don Lamond, drums.
Recorded in New York City, September 12, 1951

Personnel on #5 to 8:
Rita Moss with Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by George Williams
Al Klink, Boomie Richman, tenor saxes; Teddy Napoleon, piano; Sam Bruno, guitar; Sonny Igoe, drums; Barton Fish, Morris Starzek, Arnold Eidus, Harry Katzman, Julius Schachter, Milton Lomask, violins.
Recorded in New York City, December 1952

Personnel on #9 to 20:
Rita Moss accompanied herself at piano, organ and bongos.
Recorded in New York City, December 1956

Personnel on #21 to 23:
Rita Moss accompanied herself at organ & piano
Recorded in Los Angeles, October 1957 and 1959 (#23)

Epic photos: Bill Hughes
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol

Mono · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.

Press reviews

"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)


$10.97  (tax incl.)

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