Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, R&B
What an Outstanding Singer
Dr M Allan | Violet Grove, Shenton Pk , Western Australia | 10/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nellie Lutcher is an almost now unplayed and unknown jazz singer who in many respects brings the well known great, Ella Fitzgerald, to mind. Both are effortless and prominent scat singers, both sing smooth jazz standards, and both sing a more tender lyrical repertoire as well. Their gutsy mezzo vocal timbre is a little bit alike too.
Why Nellie has faded (apart from being perhaps less of a collaborator with the likes of Duke Ellington and others as Ella was) I'll never grasp. She sings the most heartrending songs, such as about "My Little Boy", in such a deliciously tender way that you just know she knows what it is like to rear a child. Even in moments like these, her selections and singing style project such an exuberant joy about life that you just feel like jumping out of your skin - which is quite oddly different from the implied feeling of self-control in the broader jazz style of Ella and much serious jazz.
Joy - in conspicuous quantities - is the most outstanding unique jazz quality Nellie brings to female jazz. Moments like this hit me every single time, say, I hear "Real Gone Guy", and "Fine Brown Frame", latterly where there is a slow song with really a quite tight jazz metre but she just keeps stretching it to its limits...
And there are less, but none the less exciting, big band orchestration moments as well, although I suspect that this wasn't as much to her as more intimate ensemble work was. It's thrilling each time you hear, "All of a sudden ,my heart sings/When I remember little things/The way you hold me tight/..." with the big band sound, and pure sexual energy bouncing around the concert halls. Or the big brass swinging a great beat intro with Nelson Eddy-style tight precision going into "Have You Ever Been Lonely?" and Nellie, whenever needed, can just stride the orchestra with a big voice like a Colossus. At other times her voice can be cut to a little thread like a girl's, or at times waveringly thin like Billie Holliday's.
It's not cheap, but no single CD has her best songs, and I lost my first set but I'm still buying my second."