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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Peggy Lee


Living Era CD AJA 5644



  1. Lover
  2. Be Anything, but Be Mine
  3. Iím Glad There is You
  4. Just One of Those Things
  5. Watermelon Weather (with Bing Crosby)
  6. Sans Souci
  7. I Hear Music Now
  8. Where Can I Go Without You
  9. Iíve got You Under My Skin
  10. Black Coffee
  11. I Didnít Know What Time it Was
  12. Easy Living
  13. Love Me or Leave Me
  14. A Woman Alone with the Blues
  15. My Heart Belongs to Daddy
  16. Baubles, Bangles and Beads
  17. Johnny Guitar
  18. Autumn in Rome
  19. Love, You Didnít do Right by Me
  20. The Gypsy with Fire in His Shoes
  21. It Must Be So (with the Mills Brothers)
  22. Bella Notte
  23. The Siamese Cat Song
  24. Heís a Tramp
  25. I Donít want to Play in Your Yard
  26. The Golden Wedding Ring
  27. What Can I Say After I Say Iím Sorry
  28. He Needs Me.

Peggy Lee was one of the really great female vocalists, in a group that included Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and a very few more. It is interesting to note that all these super stars learned their craft singing with the Big Bands of the day, in Peggy Leeís case in was the Benny Goodman Band school of hard knocks! These bands had all the best musicians and they would not accept vocalists who were not up to the same standard.

Most of this album is of really good songs sung either with large orchestras or small group jazz outfits and they sound as fresh as the day they were recorded. The only exceptions are a few novelty tracks, that no doubt the A&R men of the day persuaded her to record, with a view to a íhití record.

The best tracks as far as I am concerned are those recorded with a quartet consisting of Pete Condoli - trumpet, Jimmy Rowles - piano, Max Wayne - bass, Ed Shaghnessy - drums. Fortunately there are quite a few of them (9 to 15), this formula allows Peggy to demonstrate the full range of her vocal abilities, but throughout the album she demonstrates perfect diction, intonation and a wonderful sense of timing. She even turns some numbers that are not particularly good into something special.

If you are not fortunate enough to own a Peggy Lee, get this one. They are not producing singers of this quality any more and even if they did, todayís music business is not geared up to appreciate them.

Don Mather

see also review by Tony Augarde

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