Thursday, September 03, 2015


I've been known to be called The Diva Detective due to my ability to track down salient facts regarding female (and male, too) jazz singers. Who why what where & when kind of info. And, in fact, I've only been totally stumped once, i.e. whatever happened to Kay Penton?; did she run off into the wilds with Rafael Trujillo or not? Somewhat curiously, the chanteuse in question, Claudia Thompson, seems to've been L.A.-based. At least that is where her one (1) album was recorded. Also making her total un-Googleability (except for multitudinous net entries to the LP) a bit perplexing are the pedigrees of the players, i.e. Barney Kessel, Benny Carter, Joe Mondragon, Alvy Stoller, Dick Nash, Red Mitchell et al. Topping off the curious lack of remembrance of Thompson is the absolute wonderfulness of the singing AND the songs (a nice mix of the well-known, i.e Body and Soul - and the unknown: Sam Coslow's The Morning After).Every year or so I get bitten in the behind by the riddle and I become (to mix metaphors) like a dog with a bone (digging thru old Billboards and L.A, Times, etc.) Thompson is so low-keyed on most of the tracks she almost makes Julie London, in comparison, sound, like Sophie Tucker. Thompson just sings the song and goes home. Anyone out there in Great American Songbookland have any thoughts re: this riddle?

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