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)

"Fresh Sound poursuit l'exploration des artistes passés dans l'oubli. Rita Moss (1918-2015) est une chanteuse de variétés qui possède une belle voix avec une étendue dans le suraigu rare. La Mado Robin de la pop en quelque sorte. Elle porte le nom de son premier mari, Richard Moss.

Les deux premiers titres du printemps 1951 (78 tours Glenn 1001) sont des slows. Rita Moss est en compagnie d'un chœur et c'est à mon sens Sonny Dunham qui prend le solo de trombone «sweet», genre Tommy Dorsey, dans «I Never Was So Surprised». Le pianiste anonyme est bon. Rita Moss donne une courte vocalise pure et dans l'aigu sur «I'll Be Waiting for You». Les deux titres suivants viennent d'un 78 tours Decca enregistré le 12 septembre 1951. Les arrangements sont de Neal Hefti. Cette fois, on a une indication de personnel, mais il y a un flutiste non mentionné dans «Darlin'« (est-ce l'altiste Artie Baker décédé en mars 2004 à 89 ans?).

D'un point de vue jazz, le grand moment du disque est le solo de Buck Clayton (tp) dans «Love Me or Leave Me» pris sur tempo médium et qui swingue. Le personnel indiqué pour la séance suivante de décembre 1952, n'est pas très utile car incomplet (mes oreilles entendent des parties de clarinette basse et des cors). C'est un 45 tours Clef 256 qui propose des slows avec des vocalises dans l'aigu, marque de fabrique de Rita Moss. Un violoniste classique prend un solo dans «Memories of You». Le jazzfan sera plus attiré par les 12 titres qui suivent venant du LP Introducing Rita Moss, Epic 3201. En re-recording, elle même s'accompagne au piano, à l'orgue et aux bongos (décembre 1956). Le style de piano est basique (solo de «This Can't Be Love») mais au total cette séance est plaisante, centrée sur des standards («Jungle Drums», «Exactly Like You»,...) et une composition originale de Rita Moss («Bopligatto»). Dans «Did I Remember», Rita Moss a un phrasé vocal plus jazz (restant sophistiqué) et son solo de piano, outre un clin d'œil à Erroll Garner, utilise aussi des block chords bien venus. Son «Take the ‘A’ Train» est sous l'influence de Nat King Cole (avec plus de maniérisme), et son solo de piano swingue bien. Curieux et joyeux, le «Bopligatto» propose un unisson virtuose voix-orgue. Elle fait elle-même le chœur dans «I Only Have Eyes for You». Les titres 21 et 22 viennent d'un 45 tours d'octobre 1957, Debonair D139/D137. La version de «In My Ole Kentucky Home» procède comme «Bopligatto» avec un unisson voix-piano (est-ce Rita Moss à la batterie?). Le dernier morceau vient du 45 tours de 1959 Rozell K80H-1198 (label de son second mari depuis 1964 Bob Rozell) et c'est une version de «Daydream» de Billy Strayhorn qui véhicule la pureté de sa voix (qui est le guitariste?).

Bref, ce disque intéressera les admirateurs de prouesses vocales, car la dame a une étendue de registre sur quatre octaves."

—Michel Laplace © Jazz Hot 2020


9,95 €  (tax incl.)

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