Monday, July 28, 2014

Frank Sinatra .. Sinatra Sings the Songs of Van Heusen and Cahn


Here's a conversation many years ago between Frank Sinatra and his favorite lyricist Sammy Cahn one night at the Palladium Ballroom during the earliest part of his musical career:
Sinatra: "I'm gonna be the best singer in the world."
Cahn: "There's no doubt about it."

Yes, indeed, both Sinatra and Cahn were right about it. Cahn didn't doubt Sinatra when he said that he's going to be the best singer in the world. Of course, he became the best of the best, unmatched, one-of-a-kind and unsurpassed.

In this remarkable album, Sinatra sings the songs of an exceptional songwriting pair of Sammy Cahn and Jim Van Heusen, who have written some of the most beautiful songs from the Great American Songbook. Sammy Cahn's compositions are exceptionally charming and he really had a way with words. Five out of twenty-two songs are from the creative pens of Jim Van Heusen and Johnny Burke. All these are the songs made popular by the Chairman of the Board and were recorded between 1960 and 1968 with seven creative and the best arrangers/conductors of all-time: Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, Johnny Mandel, Sy Oliver, Quincy Jones, Neal Hefti and Torrie Zito. He left his indelible mark of excellence into these songs and made them his very own. 

One of the most influential and humanitarian people in the world, Bono, once said, "Sinatra's songs are his home, and he lets you in." It's very true, one can just imagine the beauty that he injected into each song even the most ordinary and obscure songs. They become magically wonderful to the ears of the listeners when he interpreted them.

1. Ring-A-Ding-Ding
2. The Last Dance
3. Imagination
4. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
5. It's Always You
6. Indiscreet
7. Come Waltz With Me
8. The Look of Love
9. The Tender Trap
10. Come Blow Your Horn
11. Call Me Irresponsible
12. All The Way
13. Swinging On A Star
14. My Kind Of Town
15. I Like to Lead When I Dance
16. The September Of My Years
17. I'll Only Miss Her When I Think Of Her
18. Come Fly With Me
19. Love And Marriage
20. Moonlight Becomes You
21. Oh, You Crazy Moon

22. Star!




Monday, June 16, 2014

Manhattan Transfer...Jukin'...debut album from 1971


Manhattan Transfer's first album from 1971 has been described as "a bit rugged and unpolished but with a sense of humor".

This album is a collection of eclectic styles (primarily big band swing plus country, rock, pop) featuring a tremendous range of vocals and instrumentation. The production of this album is beyond words. A great opportunity for young musicians to experience music that they would never be exposed to through the mediums of radio and video. You be the judge.

1. Chicken Bone Bone
2. I Need A Man
3. You're A Viper
4. Fair And Tender Ladies
5. Rosianna
6. Sunny Disposish
7. Java Jive
8. One More Time Around Rosie
9. Guided Missiles
10. Roll Daddy, Roll



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Anne Shelton Sings with Bert Ambrose and His Orchestra "Let There Be Love"


Anne Shelton, OBE (10 November 1923 – 31 July 1994) was a popular English vocalist, who is remembered for providing inspirational songs for soldiers both on radio broadcasts, and in person, at British military bases during the Second World War. Shelton was also the original singer in the United Kingdom of the song "Lili Marlene".

She began singing at age 12 on the radio show "Monday Night at Eight". By age 15 she had a recording contract. Shelton performed at military bases in Britain during World War II. Her radio program, Calling Malta, was broadcast from 1942 to 1947. In 1944, she was invited by Glenn Miller to sing in France with him and his orchestra. She declined because of prior commitments. Miller died during this tour when his plane crashed. Shelton appeared with Bing Crosby on the Variety Bandbox radio programme. In 1948 she recorded "If You Ever Fall in Love Again", written by Irish songwriter Dick Farrelly, who is best remembered for his song "Isle of Innisfree", which Shelton also recorded. Her songs "Galway Bay" and "Be Mine" were popular in the United States in 1949, and she toured there in 1951.

This compilation contains recordings she made with The Bert Ambrose Orchestra and includes tracks that have not been issued on any other collection of her music. See second picture below for further information about this album.






Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pink Martini..Sympathique...stunning 1997 debut album from a talented collection of musicians


Pink Martini's wildly popular debut, released in 1997, has sold nearly a million copies to date. Described as "breathtaking" by The New Yorker, Sympathique is timeless and beautiful. It is a cohesive blend of Cuban, French, Greek, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, classical, and Brazilian music. It was a big hit in Europe and one of the cuts was included on one of the trendy Parisian Hotel Costes' CDs. The music is hard to classify- Jazz? Latin? House? Retro? Whatever you want to call it, it is marvelous, sophisticated, quirky, cosmopolitan, and international. The group comes out of Portland Oregon and includes 14 talented musicians, covering vocals, trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, bass, guitar, piano, and percussion. Two cuts are augmented with the addition of a string orchestra and children's choir.

While the cocktail lounge fad has seen more than a few musicians climb aboard as a career move, the members of Pink Martini are no bandwagon-riding aficionados. Fronted by pianist Thomas Lauderdale, Pink Martini is the real article--a band that approaches the music with unwavering seriousness yet never forgets the fun at the heart of it. Sympathique, the band's debut album reveals an incredibly diverse musical vocabulary on the part of front man Lauderdale. What singer China Forbes may lack in range and dynamics, she more than compensates for in attack, approach, and a clear understanding of the material. While most of the songs are upbeat, in the hands of Lauderdale and Forbes, "Qué será será," with its dark atmospherics should be rechristened "Qué será noir." --Wayne Pernu..Amazon.com

1. Amado Mio
2. No Hay Problema
3. Sympathique
4. Que Sera Sera
5. La Soledad
6. Donde Estas, Yolanda?
7. Andalucia
8. Song Of The Black Lizard
9. Never On Sunday
10. Brazil

11. Lullaby



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ultra Lounge Vol. 4..Bachelor Pad Royale...Midnight Music for Cool Cats


Jazzy, Snazzy Tunes for your Space-Age Bachelor Pad!

Oh, this one really swings! Quite possibly the best in the Ultra Lounge series, this one never fails to please. From the tickling ivories opening the "Theme from Route 66" (a song that makes you feel like you've gone back in time) to the fading wails of "Melancholy Serenade" (Jackie Gleason's theme song), you're in for a fun, cool, sexy ride!

People say "Sexe" is a little too obvious. Well, yeah, it is, but the real fun comes during the sax solo, which has the power to ease you into a relaxing calm...but not too relaxed! On the other end of the spectrum is the rocking, rollicking "Night Train" which (along with the suspicious and menacing "A Shot in the Dark" and the superior "Street Scene '58") is the most blasting tune that disturbs the general ease and quiet of the disc. Although Sam Butera's double-shot of "The Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Fever" isn't so meek, either. "Boulevard" is Sam at his raspy best, and "Fever" is no less than hilarious (listen to those deep-voiced guys chanting "Feva!")

Martin Denny turns in an excellent "Harlem Nocturne." "Topsy" takes it nice 'n easy here on an organ (sounds great), but is shown up by Cy Coleman's lovely "Playboy's Theme," from the Playboy show in the '60s. A bachelor's anthem accompanied by a soft touch on the ride cymbal and a gracefully jazzy piano, this tune is just as can be expected--smooth, silky, and sexy, leisurely floating along on gossamer strings.

See also Bossa Novaville on this blog.







                                 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Judy Garland...Always Chasing Rainbows..22 Timeless and Classic Songs


Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress, singer and vaudevillian. Described by Fred Astaire as "the greatest entertainer who ever lived" and renowned for her unique voice, she attained international stardom throughout a career which spanned more than 40 years, as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage. Respected for her versatility, she received a Juvenile Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award as well as Grammy Awards and a Special Tony Award.

She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the remake of A Star Is Born and for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg. She remains the youngest recipient (at 39 years of age) of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in the motion picture industry.

Always Chasing Rainbows is a collection of her most memorable songs and has something for everyone. There are the slow, romantic songs, as well as the faster paced swing numbers, and of course, Over the Rainbow. Whether you are a fan or not, you cannot deny her talent and that amazing voice.

1. Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart
2. I'm Nobody's Baby
3. Over The Rainbow
4. Embraceable You
5. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
6. In Between
7. Stompin' At The Savoy
8. Everybody Sing
9. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm
10. Swing Mister Charlie
11. Sleep My Baby Sleep
12. You Can't Have Everything
13. Cry Baby Cry
14. Ten Pins In The Sky
15. It Never Rains But What It Pours
16. (Can This Be) The End Of The Rainbow
17. Oceans Apart
18. Buds Won't Bud
19. F.D.R. Jones
20. I'm Just WIld About Harry
21. Our Love Affair
22. Sweet Sixteen



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Max Raabe and Palast Orchester...new release "Golden Age" and American tour dates




Berlin's famed crooner Max Raabe and his twelve-piece Palast Orchester will be bringing their collection of meticulously recreated songs from the Weimar era of 1920s Germany as well as the Great American Songbook to six United States cities beginning March 2nd, 2014. 

The tour will support their upcoming February 25th release on Deutsche Grammophon, 'Golden Age', which draws from the era between the two world wars and features timeless classics like "Singing in the Rain", "Dream a Little Dream" and "Cheek to Cheek" as well as tongue-in-cheek interpretations of pop favorites "Sex Bomb" and "Oops...I Did it Again". Raabe mesmerizes a new generation as he celebrates an era when dance halls were thriving, every restaurant had an orchestra, and the Charleston became the sensation.






As the title suggests, Golden Age is a collection of classics from the Great American Songbook. Drawing from the era between World War I and II, with titles like"These Foolish Things," "Singin' In the Rain," "Dream a Little Dream" and "Cheek to Cheek," Raabe mesmerizes a new generation with timeless tunes by Cole Porter, Noel Coward and others and celebrates an era when Josephine Baker danced dressed only a banana skirt, dance halls were thriving, every restaurant had an orchestra and the Charleston became the sensation.




T  H  E     T  O  U  R :

March 2nd, 2014 
Fairfax, VA @ Center For the Arts, George Mason University


March 3rd, 2014
New York, NY @ Carnegie Hall 


March 5th, 2014 
Princeton, NJ @ McCarter Theatre Center 


March 6th, 2014 
Kennet Square, PA @ Longwood Gardens Ballroom
Tickets: [SOLD OUT]


March 8th, 2014 
Atlanta, GA @ Rialto Center for the Arts, Georgia State University


March 9th, 2014 
Miami, FL @ The Knight Concert Hall, Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

More information:

Find Deutsche Grammophon on Facebook and Twitter:


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Frank Ifield...Sings Country and Classics



This 30 track album includes all 12 tracks from the super-rare Yours Sincerely album. All cuts were made in the 1950s for Regal Zonophone and Columbia in Sydney and some of Australia's best known session players are featured.

Frank Ifield is well remembered for his big hits of the 60s, including "I Remember You", "The Wayward Wind" and "Nobody's Darling But Mine". Collectors will be aware that his albums always included a substantial number of country songs. Most do not know he recorded more than 40 sides over several years before coming to England in 1959.
This album - compiled and noted by Paul Hazell - explores Frank's super-rare Australian recordings from the 1950s. His country roots are strongly evident and fiddle, accordian and steel are heard on some tracks. Following his early releases on Regal Zonophone 78s, Columbia began issuing 45rpm singles and encouraged Frank to include a percentage of standards and popular songs.

This album presents 30 tracks from that period that have never been released outside Australia before. Most have never been available anywhere since the original 45s and 78s. All the recordings have been digitally processed with meticulous care by Bruce Bastin in Crows Nest, Sydney so that sound quality is excellent. Ballads, country songs, hymns, yodels and familiar classics are all presented here in this superb package. 

The track "True" was Frank's first crossover hit - issued only in Australia - and presents words sung to the theme from Swan Lake with a 50s pop backing. At the other end of the spectrum, "Yodelling Mad" presents Frank with just his own guitar accompaniment, showing off some of the old guitar runs and yodels he learned from old-time artistes like Tex Morton, Tim McNamara and Slim Clark.

Track Details:
I've Got A Feelin' / Unchained Melody ++/ That Lucky Old Sun ++/ Yerranderie / No Need To Cry Anymore / Deep Purple ++/ Will I Ever / Since You Went Away / Kaw Liga ++/ Molly Darling / Troubled Heart / These Hands ++/ Put Me In Your Pocket / You Better Not Do That / Autumn Leaves ++/ Serves You Right / Legend Of The Robin's Red Breast ++/ That Old Feeling ++/ Yodelling Mad / Sad Am I / Don't Do That / Pale Moon ++/ I'll Be Yours / Gypsy Heart / Guardian Angel ++/ Maybe I'll Cry Over You / True ++/ Gold Digger Blues / I Believe ++/ Chip Off The Old Block

++ indicates tracks from the Columbia 33rpm LP "Yours Sincerely" 








Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Very Best of Frank Sinatra..40 Greatest Hits from the Swing Years


Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and film actor. Beginning his musical career in the swing era as a boy singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra found success as a solo artist from the early to mid-1940s after being signed by Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the "bobby soxers", he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946. His professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, but it was reborn in 1953 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity. 

He signed with Capitol Records in 1953 and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers!, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records in 1961 (finding success with albums such as Ring-a-Ding-Ding!, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy.

Sinatra is one of the best-selling artists of all time. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

This 40 track collection highlights his early swing recordings with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey.





 singorama


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Nat King Cole Trio...smooth crooning and cool jazz...32 tracks


Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer and musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He was widely noted for his soft, baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres.

Inspired by the performances of Earl Hines, Cole began his performing career in the mid-1930s while still a teenager, adopting the name "Nat Cole". His older brother, Eddie, a bass player, soon joined Cole's band, and they made their first recording in 1936 under Eddie's name. They also were regular performers at clubs. Cole, in fact, acquired his nickname, "King", performing at one jazz club, a nickname presumably reinforced by the otherwise unrelated nursery rhyme about Old King Cole. He also was a pianist in a national tour of Broadway theatre legend Eubie Blake's revue, "Shuffle Along". When it suddenly failed in Long Beach, California, Cole decided to remain there. He would later return to Chicago in triumph to play such venues as the famed Edgewater Beach Hotel.

Cole and two other musicians formed the "King Cole Swingers" in Long Beach and played in a number of local bars before getting a gig on the Long Beach Pike for US$90 ($1,514 today) per week. The trio consisted of Cole on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, and Wesley Prince on double bass. The trio played in Failsworth throughout the late 1930s and recorded many radio transcriptions. Cole was not only pianist but leader of the combo as well.

During World War II, Wesley Prince left the group and Cole replaced him with Johnny Miller. Miller would later be replaced by Charlie Harris in the 1950s. The King Cole Trio signed with the fledgling Capitol Records in 1943. His revolutionary lineup of piano, guitar, and bass in the time of the big bands became a popular setup for a jazz trio. It was emulated by many musicians, among them Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, and blues pianists Charles Brown and Ray Charles.

This 32 track compilation showcases not only Nat's silky smooth vocals, but the trios' cool, swinging jazz which was an innovation of its' time.











Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Andrews Sisters....22 classic tracks from the Golden Era of Swing Music



The Andrews Sisters were an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), soprano Maxine Angelyn "Maxene" (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995), and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty" (February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013). Throughout their long career, the sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s). Their 1941 hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues.

The Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today, and have been covered by entertainers such as Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera, and others. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Schoifet said the sisters became the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century. They are still acclaimed widely today for their famous close harmonies.

This 22 track compilation contains classics like Shoo Shoo Baby, Rum and Coca Cola, Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar, Rhumboogie and Pennsylvania Polka.








 Learn to Sing Here




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ultra Lounge Vol.14 Bossa Novaville ... various artists..Cool and Swinging Lounge Sounds


So Cool..So Sexy..So Rio...So Ipanema

Flying down to Rio? No need to. These 18 velvet Brazilian Bossa-beaters are smoother than scratch-free Formica and cooler than a Frigidaire. 

In the 50's and 60s, dancing the Bossa Nova was the most cool and fashionable thing to do and be seen doing! There were many clubs where you could dance to it and Bossa Nova parties were all the rage.

Just the thing for your next poolside party. So, stick around, you're in Sambatown. Suave!





                                   


Friday, October 18, 2013

Johnny Mercer....The Capitol Collectors Series


John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer (November 18, 1909 – June 25, 1976) was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. He was also a co-founder of Capitol Records.

He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others. From the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, many of the songs Mercer wrote and performed were among the most popular hits of the time. He wrote the lyrics to more than fifteen hundred songs, including compositions for movies and Broadway shows. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations, and won four.

Well regarded also as a singer, with a folksy quality, Mercer was a natural for his own songs such as "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive", "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe", "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", and "Lazybones". He was considered a first-rate performer of his own work.

It has been said that he penned "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)"—one of the great torch laments of all times—on a napkin while sitting at the bar at P. J. Clarke's when Tommy Joyce was the bartender. The next day Mercer called Joyce to apologize for the line "So, set 'em up, Joe," "I couldn't get your name to rhyme."

This 20 track compilation contains all his classics and more.




Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Very Best of PEGGY LEE


Peggy Lee (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer and actress, in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. She wrote music for films, acted, and created conceptual record albums—encompassing poetry, jazz, chamber pop, and art songs.

Peggy Lee was a major influence in the vocal community and influenced other singers like the late Dusty Springfield who she outlived by only a few years. She was known as the grand dame of singing whether in small cabarets, dinner clubs, or arenas and was always a class act. She was highly regarded, respected, and admired by her peers and colleagues and was truly a lady onstage and offstage, without a hint of scandal.

This 21 track collection demonstrates Peggy's versatility -upbeat swinging songs, slow, sexy songs, Latin-flavored songs and so much more. Of course, it is not possible to do full justice to Peggy's vast legacy in a single CD, but for anybody new to Peggy's music, this is a very commendable compilation with a good cross section of her work.

So, whether you are new to her music or a committed fan, this is sure to provide you with plenty of entertainment.




                                          

Monday, October 14, 2013

Glenn Miller and The American Band of the AEF...The Lost Recordings....Sep - Nov 1944



The American Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force conducted by Major Glenn Miller
featuring Dinah Shore, Irene Manning, Johnny Desmond and Ray McKinley

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing in action December 15, 1944) was an American big band musician, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known big bands. Miller's notable recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", and "Little Brown Jug". 

In 1942, at the peak of his civilian career, Miller decided to join the war effort. At 38, Miller was too old to be drafted, and he persuaded the United States Army to accept him so he could, in his own words, "be placed in charge of a modernized Army band." After being accepted into the Army, Miller's civilian band played its last concert in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 27, 1942. His patriotic intention of entertaining the Allied Forces with the fusion of virtuosity and dance rhythms in his music earned him the rank of Captain and he was soon promoted to Major by August 1944.

Miller initially formed a large marching band that was to be the core of a network of service orchestras. His attempts at modernizing military music were met with some resistance from tradition-minded career officers. For example, Miller's arrangement of "St. Louis Blues March", combined blues and jazz with the traditional military march. Miller's weekly radio broadcast "I Sustain the Wings", for which he co-wrote the eponymous theme song, moved from New Haven to New York City and was very popular. This led to permission for Miller to form his 50-piece Army Air Force Band and take it to England in the summer of 1944, where he gave 800 performances. While in England, Major Miller recorded a series of records at EMI owned Abbey Road Studios. 



There were also the Miller-led AEF Orchestra-recorded songs with American singer Dinah Shore and other singers. These were done at the Abbey Road studios and were the last recorded songs made by the band while being led by Miller. They were stored with HMV/EMI for fifty years, never being released until their copyright expired in Europe in 1994. This double CD set is a compilation of those recordings made between September and November, 1944.

While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Glenn Miller's aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel. In the mid-1940s, after Miller's disappearance, the Miller-led Army Air Force band was decommissioned and sent back to the United States. "The chief of the European theater asked [Warrant Officer Harold Lindsay] Lin [Arinson] to put together another band to take its place, and that's when the 314 was formed." According to singer Tony Bennett who sang with it while in the service, the 314 was the immediate successor to the Glenn Miller led AAF orchestra. The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band's long term legacy has carried on with the Airmen of Note, a band within the United States Air Force Band. This band was created in 1950 from smaller groups within the Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. and continues to play jazz music for the Air Force community and the general public. The legacy also continues through The United States Air Forces in Europe Band, stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.








Sunday, September 29, 2013

Caro Emerald...jazz, swing, tango and pop with a vintage sound



Caro Emerald is a Dutch singer whose music crosses between jazz, swing, tango, pop and hip-hop with nostalgic influences. She debuted on 6 July 2009 with her single "Back It Up" and her 2009 single "A Night Like This" was a No.1 single in her native Netherlands.

Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw was born on 26 April 1981 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She started singing lessons at age 12 with James Gilloffo in Amsterdam and joined a girl vocal group, Les Elles, under his guidance. Following high school she trained as a jazz vocalist at the Amsterdam Conservatory, graduating in 2005.

In early 2007 Dutch producer Jan van Wieringen invited van der Leeuw to sing the vocal on a demo track he was co-producing with songwriter and producer David Schreurs. The song, "Back It Up", had been written by Schreurs together with Canadian songwriter Vince Degiorgio and was based on a hip-hop beat created by Jan and Robin Veldman. Caro's jazzy vocal style was considered a "perfect match" for the new song.

The song demo was pitched to various publishers and labels but although the reaction was positive they struggled to imagine it suiting any particular artist and didn't believe it had a strong enough chart potential. In the meantime, however, the song was posted on YouTube reaching public notice around the world. Radio stations picked it up and the song gained popularity.

When Degiorgio, Schreurs and van Wieringen discovered van der Leeuw's sound had such potential, they set about working on a full album presenting Emerald as the star in the summer of 2008 and used "Back It Up"'s mix of 40s–50s jazz, easy listening, orchestral Latin, combined with infectious beats as a model. Adopting a sample based approach but with live instrumentation, the writing sessions drew from a wide range of influences including jazz organist Jackie Davis, exotica composer Martin Denny, mambo king Perez Prado, 20s/30s jazz and van der Leeuw's own vocal inspirations of The Andrews Sisters, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. The usual method would be for Schreurs to produce the backing tracks at home and then get together with top line writer and lyricist Degiorgio to write the song. Van der Leeuw would occasionally pitch in her own melody and lyrical ideas, and Van Wieringen co-created the tracks for "The Other Woman" and "Dr Wanna Do".



Her debut album "Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor" set a new all-time Dutch chart record on 20 August 2010, spending its 30th week at number one on the country's albums chart, beating the previous record set by Michael Jackson's "Thriller" by one week. The album became the biggest selling album of 2010 in the Netherlands and has sold over 300,000 copies so far. In total more than a million copies have been sold. On 3 October 2010, Emerald was awarded the Dutch music prize "Edison Award" for Best Female Artist.

                                                              

 In April 2013, her second studio album "The Shocking Miss Emerald" went to No. 1 in the UK album chart, becoming her first UK No. 1 album.

Soundcloud link

Caro Emerald offcial website

download FREE Acoustic Sessions EP here

        ========================================================================







                                                

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vintage Charleston..Original Recordings 1924 - 1928



The Charleston is a dance named for the harbor city of Charleston, South Carolina. The rhythm was popularized in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called "The Charleston" by composer/pianist James P. Johnson which originated in the Broadway show Runnin' Wild and became one of the most popular hits of the decade. Runnin' Wild ran from 29 October 1923 through 28 June 1924. The peak year for the Charleston as a dance by the public was mid-1926 to 1927.

While the Charleston as a dance probably came from the "star" or challenge dances that were all part of the African-American dance called Juba, the particular sequence of steps which appeared in Runnin' Wild were probably newly devised for popular appeal. "At first, the step started off with a simple twisting of the feet, to rhythm in a lazy sort of way (this could well be the Jay-Bird). When the dance hit Harlem, a new version was added. It became a fast kicking step, kicking the feet, both forward and backward and later done with a tap." Further changes were undoubtedly made before the dance was put on stage.

The Charleston was one of the dances from which Lindy Hop and Jazz Roots developed in the 1930s. A slightly different form of Charleston became popular in the 1930s and '40s, and is associated with Lindy Hop. In this later Charleston form, the hot jazz timing of the 1920s Charleston was adapted to suit the swing jazz music of the '30s and '40s. This style of Charleston has many common names, though the most common are Lindy Charleston, Savoy Charleston, '30s or '40s Charleston and Swing(ing) Charleston. In both '20s Charleston and Swinging Charleston, the basic step takes eight counts and is danced either alone or with a partner.

This compilation captures the sounds of the 20's craze about as well as anything. Great titles, especially by Paul Whiteman, "I'd Rather Charleston" by Fred and Adele Astaire with George Gershwin accompanying, "South Wind", by Roger Wolfe Kahn's Orchestra, a great arrangement and spirited playing, plus tracks from Jelly Roll Morton and George Olsen among others. A well remastered collection of hard-to-find recordings.






Friday, August 30, 2013

Ella Fitzgerald......Early Ella


Ella Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as the "First Lady of Song", "Queen of Jazz", and "Lady Ella", was an American jazz vocalist with a vocal range spanning three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6). She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. Fitzgerald was a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Over the course of her 59-year recording career, she sold 40 million copies of her 70-plus albums, won 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.

She made her singing début at 17 on November 21, 1934, at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. She pulled in a weekly audience at the Apollo and won the opportunity to compete in one of the earliest of its famous "Amateur Nights". In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. She met drummer and band leader Chick Webb there. Webb offered her the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.

She began singing regularly with Webb's Orchestra through 1935 at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs with them, including "Love and Kisses" and "(If You Can't Sing It) You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)". But it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", a song she co-wrote, that brought her wide public acclaim. Chick Webb died on June 16, 1939, and his band was renamed "Ella and her Famous Orchestra" with Ella taking on the role of nominal band leader. Fitzgerald recorded nearly 150 songs with the orchestra before it broke up in 1942. 

This collection focuses on her early 30s and 40s recordings.




                                  

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Best of Paolo Conte..elegant and seductive rhythms with a touch of Tango



Italian singer-songwriter Paolo Conte is famous for his gravelly voice – often compared to singer-poets such as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen - his elegant and seductive rhythms, melodies and lyrics that sometimes veer towards hot jazz or bar-room tangos. It is a music of memories - half true, half dreams, poetic fragments of colors, images and fantasies.

He is a completely original talent, and his leathery, life-weary face on the cover is the first clue to the evocative music of this poet, painter, musician, and lawyer from Asti in northern Italy. Observations on the tide of human existence deftly rendered in vividly poetic lines that startle with their originality are highlighted in smoky vignettes of '40s jazz- and tango-inflected tunes, teetering between Cabaret, The Circus, and 42nd Street. Conte's unfiltered raspy voice is the perfect vehicle for his poignant view of the foibles of adult life mused from the corner barstool, admiring women whose "pungent smells [beckon] him like an old-fashioned grocery, its doors flung open to the spring outside." The music is a treat in itself, but the real gold is to be found in his lyrics, and luckily translations are in the liner notes. --Derek Rath (Amazon review)

This album is a collection of 20 of his finest recordings...


1. Elisir
2. Sotto Le Stelle Del Jazz
3. Via Con Me
4. Boogie
5. Sparring Partner
6. Come Di
7. Azzurro
8. Gelato Al Limon
9. Happy Feet
10. Gli Impermeabili
11. Max
12. Gong-Oh
13. Colleghi Trascurati
14. Bartali
15. Alle Prese Con Una Verde Milonga
16. Dragon
17. Hemingway
18. Ho Ballato Di Tutto
19. Quadrille
20. Genova Per Noi