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The out-of-print albums that I post here are available for free! For many years, I used Megaupload to store my shares, but with their recent demise, I have switched to using MediaFire instead. If one of the shares is unavailable, please leave a comment requesting it and I'll re-upload it as soon as I can. If you have any problems, feel free to email me and I'll do my best to help!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Jazz-Club: Vocal (1952-1965)

Back when I was 19 years old and just out of high school, I had a fun job in downtown Hartford with a great boss named Joe Bascetta. I worked at The Pelican, which had two locations. The upscale store on Main Street carried clothes and accessories for punks, ravers, freaky conservatives and alternative-types in general. The location on Park Street, on the other hand, did carry clothing, but did most of its business in "tobacco" paraphernalia, sex toys and martial arts weapons. I worked three days a week at Main Street and two on Park Street. Park Street was rough back then. I used to take the city bus into work each day. On the job, I was constantly surrounded by a fascinating group of people: insurance types, drag queens, clubbers, artists, junkies, you name it. The Main Street location is closed now and the Park Street location is now a tattoo shop.

Joe Bascetta is a cool cat. In the seventies, he lived in New York City, where he and his wife made and sold platform shoes. In fact, David Bowie is wearing a pair of his in the "Ashes to Ashes" video. New York Dolls member David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter) was the best man at his wedding. He's the kind of guy to wear a $1000 suit over a worn-out $20 Izod shirt. Anyway, working there was a blast.

We used to loosely rotate among the employees what music was played. Almost nothing was off-limits. Joe's two favorites at the time were Fine Young Cannibals (I was already a big fan) and the Jazz-Club: Vocal compilation that Verve had released that year in 1989. I had a passing familiarity with jazz from the 20s and 30s; I had bought a comp or two and knew enough to know that I loved Fats Waller. This, however, was my first exposure to vocal jazz from the 50s and 60s. And what an introduction it was! Nearly every track is an absolute gem! In the 18 years since, I've listened to this literally hundreds of times.

This type of jazz is probably under the radar for many of my regular visitors here. Many of my favorite jazz vocalists are here, all performing absolute standards. In the 30s and 40s, jazz was mainstream and was the current "popular music." When rock 'n' roll came along in the 50s, pop music changed. But all of those great singers and players from that earlier era kept working and kept performing. There was a resurgence in popularity of this type of traditional vocal jazz during the mid-50s and into the mid-60s, most notably from the likes of Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack and Louis Prima. Some would argue (like me), that, within the context of its somewhat more modernized setting, the form reached it peak during this period.

If the names here are unknown to you or you only vaguely recognize some, then you really need to give this a shot! There is a wonderful introduction. If you already love this type of music and don't already have this compilation, then you definitely need this! It's essential. A word of warning, though: the first track can be a bit off-putting if you're unfamiliar with Ella Fitzgerald's unique, almost stream of consciousness vocalese. Don't let that throw you. You may eventually learn to appreciate it and, down the road, maybe even love it. In the meantime, if it bugs you, just click past it and enjoy the rest. I've placed what recording details were available in the comment field.

Check out this live clip of Nina Simone performing "The Other Woman" in 1968:

And here's a live clip of Louis Armstrong performing "On the Sunny Side of the Street":

Finally, a live clip of Joe Williams with Count Basie & His Orchestra performing "Alright, O.K. You Win":

Jazz-Club: Vocal (1952-1965)
1. Ella Fitzgerald - Air Mail Special [1956] (4:08)
2. Billie Holiday - Stormy Weather [1952] (3:42)
3. Sarah Vaughan - He's My Guy [1954] (4:10)
4. Anita O'Day - S'Wonderful / They Can't Take That Away from Me [1957] (2:57)
5. Dinah Washington - Back Water Blues [1958] (5:01)
6. Astrud Gilberto - One Note Samba [1964] (3:17)
7. Nina Simone - The Other Woman [1964] (3:01)
8. Carmen McRae - The Very Thought of You [1960] (2:32)
9. Louis Armstrong - On the Sunny Side of the Street [1956] (3:29)
10. Jack Teagarden - Mis'ry and the Blues [1961] (5:19)
11. Jimmy Rushing - Evenin' [1957] (3:37)
12. Mel Tormé - Take the "A" Train [1960] (2:51)
13. Joe Williams - Alright, O.K. You Win [1955] (2:49)
14. Billy Eckstine - St. Louis Blues Part 1 & 2 [1953] (6:21)
15. Jon Hendricks - Stockholm Sweetnin' [1965] (3:45)
16. Dave Lambert - Donna Lee [1965] (2:50)

96.4MB ZIP archive
MP3: Variable bitrate (226kbps average)
Exact Audio Copy 1.0b3 (Secure mode) w/LAME 3.99.5 (-V0)


17 comments: said...

Haven't listened yet, but what a sweet comp this promises to be!

Thanks for this and all the work you do.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin... How 'bout some Indigo Girls? :)

eniksleestack said...

if you're unfamiliar with Ella Fitzgerald's unique, almost stream of consciousness vocalese. Don't let that throw you... if it bugs you, just click past it.

My faith in humanity may have just dropped a notch to realize that someone out there might be bugged and/or feel the urge to click past Ella Fitzgerald. Blasphemy! :P

Thanks for this fantastic album -- it's already in heavy rotation around here.

Tiki said...

Thank you very much! Great blog!! Your efforts are greatly appreciated!!!

Kevin Sartori said...

Download link was expired/deleted. Re-uploaded and available for download again!

sayuribear said...

I used to listen to this with my mother when I was younger. It's one of the best tapes I've every known but some how it was lost. I've aways remembered what the cover looked like but never knew what it was called exactly. So every now and again over the years I have searched the internet for key words I'd remembered like Verve and Jazz and Vocal and Compilation and hope for the best. So today I sitting here listening to Miles on Spotify and I think to myself "I'll have another bash at it". Again I started my search for this long lost compilation and lo and behold on google image there she was, that crude water colour of and old jazz singer. I can't say how happy I am right now. I never really thought I'd find it, but thanks to you I'm one HUGE step closer to having it again. THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'M ECSTATIC. I never thought this day would come.x

J Thyme...kind said...

If you enjoy Jazz singing then I might suggest Brasil and some of its fine artists. Stop by my page & I'm sure you'll find something of note.
Try Dóris Monteiro & her divine "Simplesmente" LP from 1966. Very nice!

Anonymous said...

This was a huge introduction to jazz for me, and saved my mind many a time when I was at my boring office job! Thanks so much for this.

Kevin Sartori said...

Share has been uploaded to MediaFire and is available now!

Kevin Sartori said...

Share has been uploaded to Rapidgator and is available now!

Bryce said...

Hello there,

first of all thanks for your hard work in uploading so many fine albums for the listening pleasure of complete strangers! I've been intrigued by The Three Suns ever since I heard them on internet radio (Illinois Street Lounge by SOMAFM) and it's thanks to you that I can now listen to them whenever I like :)

Now for the bummer part of the message - the link for this jazz album is down! -_-

Kevin Sartori said...

Thanks for the heads up, Bryce! I agree, SomaFM really does an excellent job with all of their stations. I've discovered some amazing stuff on Ill St. Lounge myself!

You might want to check out too. They also play a lot of Exotica!

Share has been re-uploaded to Rapidgator and is available now!

Anonymous said...

I think Rapidgator hates me.

Kevin Sartori said...

Share has been re-uploaded to Rapidgator and is available now!

Kevin Sartori said...

Rapidgator has become unreliable, so I've uploaded the share to Game Front and it's available now!

Guppy said...

Download is down, unfortunately :|

Kevin Sartori said...

The share has been moved to and is available now!