"All of Anita O'Day's verve's are worth picking up, including this one with Oscar Peterson's combo. Anita glides though a set of jazz standards, they swing smoothly together and as always Miss O'Day improvises and swings. It is always a joy to hear Miss O'Day's scatting and her highly appealing phrasing, with the added pleasure of Oscar Peterson on the keys. This CD reissue of the original lp is highly recommeded as are all of her Verve re-issues. Lastly go and see her live next time you're in California, she often plays the Club Atlas in LA."
Simply Put, She's The Best.
Gloria Carpenter | New York, New York USA | 08/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a jazz fan, but not a fan of jazz vocals, I can not recommend this album more highly. Anita is IT! In my opinion she blows away anyone who ever tried to sing a jazz standard. Hipper than Ella, more lyrical than Sarah, Anita had an emotional depth that only Billy could rival. But Billy isn't even in the same hemisphere when it comes to technique. And unlike many of the so-called jazz vocalists, Anita never resorted to gimmicky licks or tricks. But when she scats...look out! This is the real deal -- not the scoobally-doo-bop nonsense too often passed off as "improvisation". Every note rings true with a tone sent from the gods. The gal could SWING! This album is a must for an serious jazz fan and any fan of great singing. Buy it -- or lose out on hearing one of the great artists of the 20th century."
A Good Match
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 09/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of my first experiences hearing jazz live was catching Anita O'Day at a small club in Seattle. As little as I understood about the music at the time, it was abundantly clear that she was unhappy with her pianist and that he would have preferred being anywhere but in the company of this snarling prima donna who was holding him up to public humiliation. Years later I heard a musician tell the story about Anita calling "Tea for Two" in one of her typically torrid up-tempos and in the key of A. After the pianist had played the song through, setting up the vocal, Anita suddenly turned to him and said, "Modulate to A flat" (the standard key of the tune).So why not pair one of the world's most fastidious and demanding singers with the world's greatest living pianist? The concept behind this album was a winner from the start, and its realization is in no way disappointing. Oscar is at his swinging best, and Anita has her choice of tempos, keys, and unique spins on familiar standards. She's at once hot, cool, sexy, cold--as only Anita can be--but she's always the ace musician, in complete, domineering control in her uniquely laid-back, slightly "hung-over" style of elocution.Not quite as satisfying as Anita's "Pick Yourself Up," this album is nonetheless another of the many rewarding sessions coupling Verve's "house" rhythm section with a jazz star. The greatest delights? The medium-tempo version of "We'll Be Together Again" and the overplayed but not oversung "Stella by Starlight." The biggest disappointment? On the "Rodgers and Hart Songbook" Ella sings the complete and uncensored lyrics to "Bewitched," whereas on this recording Anita sings the straight, cleaned-up, traditional version. Somebody must have switched the envelopes."
Very, Very Nice
A. Griffin | New York, NY United States | 02/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The legendary head of Verve, Norman Granz, knew his business, and signing Anita O'Day was no exception. Though this is not her best Verve album ('Time For Two' with Cal Tjader claims this distinction) it is superb. (My favorite track is probably 'Stella By Starlight'; the best rendition of this gorgeous standard that I've ever heard.) Grab this one -- and 'Time For Two'."
Stylish Swing from Two Masters
R. J. WALKER | 04/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anita O'Day was at her absolute artistic peak in the 50s, and this collaboration with Oscar Peterson stands out as one of her most fully-realized albums, and it's one of the most fun to listen to. Each song is highly concentrated and gets out of the gate at full throttle. Whether uptempo or ballad, every song swings hard-- one expects no less from O'Day or Peterson. The piano playing is technically dazzling, and Peterson's Impressionist ballad work is gorgeous. And O'Day's vocals? Like no other singer working (with the possible exception of Mel Torme, another member of the 50s Cool school). Impeccable rhythmic sense, stunning scatting ability, a true gift of melodic and harmonic re-invention-- she had serious jazz chops (even if she didn't have Sarah Vaughn's operatic technique, she never needed it). The Mach 180 romp through "Them There Eyes" should be required listening for jazz players (singers and instrumentalists)-- a brilliant deconstruction of the old Billie Holiday line, including O'Day trading scat eights with drummer John Poole, a blazing solo from Peterson, and a sense of joy you don't get from other musicians. A true pleasure!!"