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Larry Kart

"Meet Juiie Wilson" (Cameo Parkway)

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Inspired by Billie Holiday, with a hint of Mabel Mercer or at times even Mae West, Wilson was a cabaret singer, not a jazz singer:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/arts/music/julie-wilson-sultry-cabaret-legend-and-actress-dies-at-90.html

Picked this up for 40 cents today because she's backed by the Ellis Larkins Trio, and why not? By this time  (the album dates from 1960), Wilson, b. 1924, had little more than a throaty wisp of voice but much musical intelligence and makes intense dramatic impact; she's the very definition of an acquired taste. I mentioned Mercer, but Wilson lacks Mercer's arch, lifted-pinky mannerisms; as for West, at times the  sexy undertone of Wilson's interpretations verges on the bestial-possessive. The Larkins aspect of the album is subtly remarkable. He doesn't so much accompany Wilson as continuously embroider crystalline new melodies around her, almost as though she (and the original tune) weren't even there, though it's a tribute to both Wilson and Larkins that there are no clashes nor any sense of discontinuity between her singing and his playing; rather it's like she's a statuesque model (she was one early on) and he's draping her in a series of elegant, spontaneously created gowns. Larkins' style is not unlike Teddy Wilson's but unmistakably his own and at times quite "out," albeit in a dapper manner. Follow his thinking closely though and you're in the Land of the Bizarre.

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15 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Picked this up for 40 cents today because she's backed by the Ellis Larkins Trio, and why not?

I'll pick up damn near anything for 40 cents.

I do have to say, though - her overt Hollday-isms on that clip kinda creep me out. Not that she doesn't mean them, just that...there's only one voice I feel comfortable doing that thing, and it's not hers.

I guess I'm a modest fellow at heart.

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You think Wilson's resemblance to Billie was creepy? Have you ever heard Al Cohn's former wife Marilyn Moore?
 

 

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I have.

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Her obituary: Julie Wilson, Sultry Cabaret Legend and Actress, Dies at 90

“In a 1987 interview with the music critic and historian Whitney Balliett, Ms. Wilson named Holiday as her major influence. ‘No singer has ever moved me so much,’ she said. ‘No one has ever had such pain and emotion in her singing. She is why I wear a gardenia in my hair every night.’”

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18 hours ago, JSngry said:

I do have to say, though - her overt Hollday-isms on that clip kinda creep me out. Not that she doesn't mean them, just that...there's only one voice I feel comfortable doing that thing, and it's not hers.

So you don't like Madeleine Peyroux either, then?

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Not particularly, no.

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49 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

So you don't like Madeleine Peyroux either, then?

I like some of her output.

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