Anita O'Day: Memories of You - JazzWax

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September 27, 2011


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These appear to be the same recording, but with much better sound quality and balance on the film version.
Rare footage of Anita without gloves.

Malcolm G. Moore Jr.

Hey Marc,
The philosophy of today's article is 'Brevity is the Soul of Wit'! eh?
Thanks for the memory of Anita again. Here's a letter to the Raleigh News & Observer (North Carolina) that I wrote when I heard of her death and was published on Dec.4 2006:

A loss to music
The music world lost a great jazz singer with the death of Anita O'Day (news
story, Nov. 24). She was truly an American original.
The title of her autobiography, "High Times, Hard Times," summed up her life.
She never had the virtuoso vocal instrument of an Ella Fitzgerald or a Sarah
Vaughan but her voice directly and effectively communicated her pain, joy,
sadness, hipness and playfulness. It's amazing that with all her trials and
tribulations, many self-induced, she survived to age 87.
I don't think she ever enjoyed anything more than singing. It seems just like
yesterday when I had the opportunity in the 1980s to see her perform in Raleigh
and in Washington, D.C. She was a friendly down-to-earth person appreciative of
your interest in her music.
Listen to her swinging, creative interpretations of Cole Porter's songs on her
"Anita O'Day Swings Cole Porter with Billy May." It's probably her finest
recording and represents jazz at its highest level: inventive, fun and effective
in using the voice as a jazz instrument. It is the ultimate in jazz singing.

Malcolm G. Moore Jr.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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