BLACK COFFEE - PEGGY LEE
TRACK LISTING: Black Coffee, I've Got You Under My Skin, Easy Living, My Heart Belongs To Daddy, It Ain't Necessarily So, Gee Baby (Ain't I Good To You), A Woman Alone With the Blues, I Didn't Know What Time It Was, (Ah the Apple Tree) When th World Was Young, Love Me or Leave Me, You're My Thrill, There's a Small Hotel
IMPRESSIONS: Torch songs, torchy torchy songs. Peggy Lee is uniquely qualified to sing those as well as the gently swinging selections paired with them on this album. Not too shabby a way to launch her first solo album. Also, this is one of Joni Mitchell's favourite albums; not surprisingly Joni opened her 2000 album of torch songs "BOTH SIDES NOW" with "You're My Thrill" which appears on this LP. Lee's version of this song is breath-takingly noirish and the singer fearlessly refuses to hurry her delivery of the song. A completely different delivery is found in the waltzing "There's a Small Hotel" which features an arrangement that perhaps has a little too much sugar in the coffee; however, such an approach is appropriate to the song and any cloying sweetness is dispelled when the combo occasionally breaks out into a jazzy, swinging tempo. Will Friedwald names this album as one of his "desert island discs" in his book "JAZZ SINGING" and one can easily see why.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Black Coffee, I've Got You Under My Skin, My Heart Belongs To Daddy, It Ain't Necessarily So, Gee Baby (Ain't I Good To You), A Woman Alone With the Blues, I Didn't Know What Time It Was, You're My Thrill
FACT SHEET: BLACK COFFEE is Peggy Lee's first album released in 1953 as a ten-inch containing only the first 8 songs. In 1956, Decca requested Lee record 4 more songs in order to release the album again in the 12 inch LP format. Lee had been featured on recordings since 1941 as singer with the Benny Goodman Orchestra and also on various 78s and 45s. The original 1953 sessions were recorded on April 30, May 1 and May 4 at Decca's New York City studio on West 57th Street featuring Pete Candoli on trumpet, Jimmy Rowles on piano, Max Wayne on bass and Ed Shaughessy on drums. The 4-song additions were recorded on April 3, 1956 at Decca's Hollywood studios with different musicians: Lou Levy on piano, Buddy Clark on bass, Larry Bunker on drums and percussion, Stella Castelluci on harp and Bill Pitman on guitar.