Sunday, June 15, 2008

4 Girls 4

On May 24th at 10:30 a.m. at the L.A. Jazz Institute Festival, I moderated a panel of four of the finest jazz singers around. Here is the transcript of part one:

I'm Bill Reed, a producer for Japan's SSJ Records. Even without the scheduled participation of the wonderful Mark Murphy who, as you well know, was not was not able to perform because of illness this week and had a previously scheduled appointment, so he wouldn't have been able to be here anyhow, still this remains an amazing gathering of singers. I was going to call this---Pinky Winters suggested that I call this---'Jazz Singing in the 21st Century' (laughter) but now I think I'll call it '4 Girls 4. ' Here are our panelists.

A few years ago our first singer appeared with a gathering of some of L.A.'s finest players and performed at this festival recreating one of her classic Emarcy albums, the one she made with Gil Evans. She hit the ground running and was a revelation. It could have filled a major hall in Japan where she is considered very simply the personification of a jazz singer. It should be noted that her Emarcy album with Clifford Brown is the largest selling jazz record ever in Japan
. . .Helen Merrill.
And speaking of Japan, our next singer's recording career has had fresh life breathed into it thanks to the interest of Japanese fans. First that country reissued her debut LP on CD. She now has four more CDs in release there, including a Live in Tokyo set recorded in December of 2006. And she's just about to take off for her second concert tour of Japan. . .Pinky Winters.
Our next artist first came to widespread attention in the U.S. with the inarguably legendary vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. But by then she had already achieved much fame in Europe in nightclubs and in theatre. Known today equally well as an actress, she was a long-standing member of director Robert Altman’s stock company. And, oh yes, she wrote the famed lyrics for Wardell Gray’s “Twisted.” And a cookbook. She will be singing a Gershwin program here tonight. . .Annie Ross.
To the best of my knowledge our next singer has not yet appeared in Japan. . .
Sutton: No, but they've got my pianist, Christian Jacob, right now.
Reed: . .but no doubt the call has gone out. She has been seen performing just about everywhere else: Capetown, Istanbul, Milan. Soon she’s off to Norway and Newark, Seattle and Yakima. During its fourteen years together, the Tierney Sutton Band, led my our next panel member, has garnered critical praise throughout the world. Sunday night she’ll be taking the Irene Kral role in a recreation of Shelley Manne’s “My Fair Lady” album with Jack Sheldon. . .Tierney Sutton.
(applause) continued here

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