Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Legendary Lee Wiley: Collector's Item 1931-55
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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You Will Never Forget The "Feel" of Her Voice
Harry Chandless | Hasbrouck Heights, NJ USA | 07/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Get this CD. Here she is: the great Lee Wiley, who sings with such feeling and that exquisite breathy, earthy sound to her voice, that the jazz numbers she sings come to life and so does she. It is to her credit that she sang with the jazz greats such as Eddie Condon' s groups and it brought out the best in her deep feeling and understanding of the moods. Most jazz historians know that she began singing at 15 with Reisman's band on cut No.1. Here, the writer of the liner notes choses right off the bat to start his hatchet job by saying; "he knows" she was born in 1908 and not 1915. Who cares? Aren't we talking about music? Or is he? (Here comes a "no" vote from him probably, just as on my other review of her first CD.) As if getting ready to write a book, the writer goes on to take cheap shots at her throughout the liner notes, pretending to show such praise for her wonderful singing. Her greatest moments come from her singing with Eddie Condon's groups (which was a collection of the greatest jazz musicians of the day), on tracks 7, 8, 9, 22, and 23. The writer, obviously not a jazz devotee, disagrees. And he blames her spendthrift ways (as if the writer would know) for ruining Jess Stacy's band and her marriage to Jess Stacy. And later he refers to her as the "old warhorse" on tracks 17-20 in 1954. Her Cherokee Indian background would groan at that remark. Critics know that pianist Jess Stacy's band (which the writer says Wiley talked him into setting up) was not great. You can hear it on tracks 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 24 and 25. That band was an insipid, "elevator music" group, with no jazz instincts. Listen to the tracks mentioned. Wiley would never have inspired the formation of such a group. But she loved the guy and did the best she could. Only Wiley's majestic effort pulls the Stacy band through on those tracks. And note that Stacy had played piano with Eddie Condon's group, (or didn't the writer know? ) and did so beautifully behind Wiley on those numbers. With his own band it sounds like Stacy is playing with one finger. Tracks 1,2,3,7,8,9,22 and 23 are the ones you will never forget. Get the CD and set up those tracks. Anyway, read the liner notes and then throw them away. But listen to Lee Wiley ---her sound will never leave you. There are those who know she was a beautiful lady, taken advantage of by many in the business because of her age. But no one can take away the beauty of her music."