Thursday, December 28, 2006

One shot Wonders, pt. 13

see intro below

In addition to his early thirties work with instrumentalists such as Count Basie and Lester Young, legendary record producer John Hammond also oversaw the nascent careers of such singers as Billie Holiday and Mildred Bailey. As late as the early 60s he was still working with vocalists. In addition to Aretha Franklin, another of his discoveries during this period, was Nikki Price. Privately in his 1977 memoirs he more-or-less disowned his participation in the 1961 album “Nikki: Introducing the Beautiful Nikki Price,” deeming it “pretentious.” However, I feel that she DID follow up on the promise the Hammond first heard when Price walked in cold off the street and successfully requested an audition with the great producer then and there on the spot. Little is known about Price’s activities beyond her debut/swan song except that for a brief time after its release, she was married to the wonderful west coast pianist Dave Mackay. I recently asked Dave if he knew whatever happened to Price. He had not heard from her for many years. He told me that two of the musicians on Price’s recording were Phil Woods and songwriter/pianist/singer Dave Frishberg, and this album marked Frishberg’s first time being recorded AND that this also marked the premiere recording of his classic song, “Peel Me a Grape.”

PLAY TRACK Peel Me a Grape

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