Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Friday, February 22, 2008

Songbird A Capella

They talk about the great Jazz Ladies: Ella, Sarah, Billie, and Carmen. Well-chosen. If we keep to the rich world of the African-American, I would nominate other voices quite arguably on their par: Nina Simone and Nancy Wilson.

I've been sampling Ms. Wilson and wandering, seeking the right collection, and, you know? There's But Beautiful, and there are the separate collections with Cannonball Adderley and with George Shearing. The rest are laden with the over-orchestration of the Late 50s/Early 60s.

Why did the musicians go that way? Well, why did the era go 'Rat Pack' and Vegas and Hef? For those younger than the mountains I watched grow in the distance, America once had a sense of legitimate triumph, of being the 'good guys'. We 'earned' big sound, intrusive harmony. So, it seemed right to 'overdo'.

That's not so truly felt today.

Here's my humble suggestion: produce an album of Nancy Wilson sans other musicians altogether. Would that sound too bare? Or give us real music, real greatness? The Lark ascending?

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