Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
American Legend: Mildred Bailey
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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Get the one buck used version then get a box set
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 02/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one little CD is not enough. However, if you look at the used ones, you can see you can get one for a buck and change. Get that. Once you hear that you are going to have to have one of the multiCD box sets, because Mildred is so great you are always going to need, not just want, but NEED, more!
Mildred Bailey was not just the first real female Jazz band singer. She was one of the earliest real jazz singers and she continued to have a jazz based strain to her singing throughout her career unlike some singers with her success who might have gone more pop. She was fun. She was fun. She was fun. She jived, she joked, she played. You are going to smile when you hear Mildred and know she is really serious when she is serious. She could bring out the jazz in the most wooden of accompaniest, but usually she had great musicians, white, black or otherwise playing behind her, because Mildred is fun.
In an age before television, Bailey continued to have fans white and Black who did not know she was white. This remains true even recently when I have loaned tapes of Mildred to other African Americans without any liner notes or anything and had them ask why they had never heard of this great Black singer.
However, I do find it distressing that Mildred Bailey seems to be so forgotten. She was the first prominent female band singer in Jazz. She was and is fun to listen to and a great voice. Mildred was actually able to swing and swing hard even with Paul Whiteman. She produced masterpieces using some of the same small groups as Billie Holday for HER Columbia recordings, although Bailey semed to prefer Herschal Evans to Lester Young. Bailey was also pretty out front for the time as a white female singer performing with an all black combo--"Mildred Baily and Her Oxford Browns." Mildred was simply magnificent in the small combos her husband Red Novro organized, She had a sense of humor about her performances and a bit of salaciousness that you won't find in Billie's recordings.
I don't think it was just out of sentimentality, but in tribute to her artistry, that Sinatra and Bing Crosby (who owed his career to Bailey's bringing him in contact with Whiteman)spent thousands of dollars helping her out in the last years of her life when health problems and the end of her career led her to very hard times.
Mildred was a great singer, a great jazz pioneer, and a lot of fun. How does anyone get along without the joy her music has brought to my life. There have been times when my life was worse than it is now when I was depressed and just thinking about one of Mildred's tracks on this CD started to turn my life around!"