Peggy Lee: Black Coffee (Acoustic Sounds 180g)

39,50

1 LP

Jazz Μουσική

Verve

Νέο!19 Φεβρουαρίου 2021Ερώτηση για το προϊόν

Περιγραφή

602435120898

Καλλιτέχνες

Peggy Lee (Vocals)

Contents

  1. Black Coffee (Single Version)
  2. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Single Version)
  3. Easy Living
  4. My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Single Version)
  5. It Ain’t Necessarily So
  6. Gee Baby (Ain’t I Good To You)
  7. A Woman Alone With The Blues
  8. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
  9. When The World Was Young
  10. Love Me Or Leave Me
  11. You’re My Thrill
  12. There’s A Small Hotel

Peggy Lee was 32 years old when she entered the recording studios of the Decca label in downtown New York to lay the tracks for the later album Black Coffee. Remarkably, it was the singer’s first album, although she had a number of hit singles, including “Mañana (Is Soon Enough for Me)”, which was number one on the US hit list in 1948.

Lee was born on May 26, 1920 in Jamestown, North Dakota, as Norma Deloris Egstrom and completed her musical training as a singer in Benny Goodman’s band before she began a successful solo career with the young label Capitol between 1944 and 1951. In 1952 she left Capitol after she was refused a recording of a vocal version of Les Paul’s instrumental hit “Lover”, penned by Rodgers & Hardt. The producer Milt Gabler lured her to Decca with the promise: “You come with me, and you can record anything you want”. Lee made her Decca debut with “Lover”, which became a hit single.

Blck Coffee followed a year later. Recorded in three sessions – on April 30 and May 1 and 4, 1953 – with Gabler at the helm, Lee was accompanied by pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Max Wayne and drummer Ed Shaughnessy, as well as horn player and trumpeter Pete Candoli, who became an integral part of the West Coast jazz scene. Between recordings, Lee and her band sipped cognac sweetened with honey, creating the intimate atmosphere of a jazz club performance by recording eight tracks whose blend of sluggishness and nocturnal reverie helped cement Lee’s status as the goddess of the Torch song.

Black Coffee was not a random collection of songs. As Dr. Tish Oney, author of a forthcoming book about Lee, Peggy Lee: A Century Of Song, explains: “With Black Coffee, she created one of the first concept albums. Up until that point, the albums didn’t necessarily have a common thread connecting the songs, but Black Coffee was one of the very first to have a theme. The songs have to do with love, but not in the way you treated them before. The album is a darker exploration of imperfect love relationships, and I think many people could identify with it”.

Although Sarah Vaughan first recorded the song “Black Coffee” by Sonny Burke and Paul Frances Webster, Lee made it her own and transformed it into a smoky anthem of loneliness, longing and despair that exudes sensuality. “I don’t think anyone has ever made the theme song better,” says Oney. “The quality of hoarseness in her voice makes me suspect it’s early in the morning and her voice hasn’t warmed up yet. She hasn’t always sounded like this, but she’s able to use this sound quality to bring out some raw emotion in the song.

Although Sarah Vaughan first recorded the song “Black Coffee” by Sonny Burke and Paul Frances Webster, Lee made it her own and transformed it into a smoky anthem of loneliness, longing and despair that exudes sensuality. “I don’t think anyone has ever made the theme song better,” says Oney. “The quality of hoarseness in her voice makes me suspect it’s early in the morning and her voice hasn’t warmed up yet. She hasn’t always sounded like this, but she’s able to use this sound quality to bring out some raw emotion in the song.

Cole Porter’s classic, much-praised swing number “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” briefly lifts the depressed mood with its swinging brio feeling and Jimmy Rowles’ sparkling piano solo. A bleak atmosphere returns in Ralph Rainger’s and Leo Robin’s slow ballad “Easy Living”, although it is dissolved by the hard-charging “My Heart Belongs To Daddy”, in which Lee’s passionate singing struggles with Candoli’s fiery outbursts of a dazzlingly muffled horn.

“Lee’s performance is a little tongue-in-cheek because the song has many different meanings,” says Oney. “I think she offers an insight into the way she can put more than one meaning into a song, and uses allusions, so you might not quite know what she wants to say. She keeps a veil over herself, and her meanings sometimes allow people to interpret them however they want to interpret them. That’s what I love about her. Not all singers have this ability to keep that veil really covered”.

Willard Robison’s love-soaked ballad “A Woman Alone With The Blues” begins and ends with a menacing chime of bells and continues at a sad pace, but allows Lee to show off her skills, caress a melody and bring out a variety of emotional nuances. Here she shows a certain amount of vulnerability, but there is a feeling of inner strength. “It’s just incredible how many different sounds she could reach,” says Oney. The glockenspiel is based on a delightful version of Rodgers & Hart’s “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was It Was”, which begins as a ballad and then turns into a happy swinger driven by Max Wayne’s walking bass.

Originally a French song called “Le Chevalier De Paris” (recorded by Edith Piaf in 1950), “(Ah, The Apple Trees) When The World Was Young” is about a worldly femme fatale who seems to have everything but doesn’t long for the lost innocence of her youth. With English lyrics by US songwriter Johnny Mercer, the book has been covered by everyone from Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole to Scott Walker and Bob Dylan. Lee’s poignant performance, however, is one of the most memorable versions, beginning with Candoli’s short quote from “La Marsellaise” in the intro.

Candoli’s horn plays an important role in “Love Me Or Leave Me”, where Lee gives her lover an ultimatum and the song’s brisk tempo drowns out the song’s melancholic message. “Love Me Or Leave Me’ is her way of saying, ‘You may break my heart, but I’ll be fine, and I’m going on, with or without you,'” explains Oney. “I think this point of strength is an important aspect of her personality, but I love the way Pete Candoli weaves around her lyrics and phrases, and the two of them together in this song really create a beautiful dialogue.

In 1954, Black Coffee’s version with eight songs was released on Decca as a 10-inch LP, but in 1956 Lee added four more tracks to the album for a 12-inch vinyl release. She cut them with another group of musicians: pianist Lou Levy, guitarist Bill Pitman, bassist Buddy Clark, drummer/vibraphonist Larry Bunker and harpist Stella Castellucci. Together they accompanied Lee on an exquisite version of George Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So”, along with three contrasting ballads: “Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good To You”, the absolutely enchanting “You’re My Thrill” and “There’s A Small Hotel”. The latter is a highly acclaimed Rodgers & Hard Jazz standard, which Lee reconfigured into a waltz with dizzying harp glissandi before breaking out shortly afterwards into a finger-clicking swinger.

“Black Coffee was never really outshone,” says Tish Oney, summarizing the album’s unique qualities. “The music is timeless. Peggy Lee’s expression and musical excellence on it is truly outstanding. She shows so many hats she could wear and doesn’t sound like the same artist, song after song after song. It’s very difficult to achieve.”

The album was a success with the critics – the US jazz magazine DownBeat gave it a glowing five-star review – but it was not a bestseller at the time. Over the years, however, Black Coffee’s reputation has grown. “It is considered by many jazz lovers and scholars to be one of the ten best jazz vocal albums of all time,” says Oney. “I think that all the songs together show Lee’s wide range of emotions, her technical mastery, her sense of rhythm and her mastery of phrasing.

Oney also believes that Black Coffee has made a deep impression on other singers and listeners. “I think it was an extremely influential recording,” she says, “Peggy Lee really opened the door for cool singers to come behind her. Those who were under the spell of the album were Joni Mitchell – who later recorded “My Thrill” – and KD Lang, while the venerable British singer Petula Clark once referred to the album as “my bible”.

Although Peggy Lee later recorded more commercially successful albums, “Black Coffee” was a defining moment in her career and the artistic high point of her tenure with Decca. Dr. Tish Oney believes that the album is still relevant today, more than 60 years after its first release.

“The meanings behind each song – and the songs together – are universal,” she says, “The inevitable disappointment of love relationships was beautifully rendered. It was no longer the happy, naive Peggy, but the disappointed, disillusioned, wiser Peggy who sang. And anyone who’s ever had a broken heart can relate.”

To stand out from the mass of countless LP re-releases, there is only one recipe: Quality!

Audiophile pressings and high-quality cover finishes are the “crown of creation” in vinyl. The fact that audiophile LPs are in demand in the jazz sector is proven by the continuing success of the BLUE NOTE TONE POET series. With the ACOUSTIC SOUNDS SERIES, the Verve label is now playing in this quality and price range.

The classics have never been manufactured as exquisitely as here: mastered without digital intermediate steps from the original analogue tapes, pressed in finest 180g vinyl by Quality Record Pressings and packed in sturdy tip-on-gatefold sleeves, printed and processed at Stoughton Printing Co. The entire production chain is supervised by the legendary Chad Kassem from the audiophile LP label Acoustic Sounds.

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