Mildred Bailey

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1943-1945 Review

by Scott Yanow

Most of Mildred Bailey's recordings have been reissued, but this CD is particularly special. With the exception of the final four songs, all of the music was originally out on fairly rare V-discs, making this a strong addition to swing and vocal jazz fans' collections. Bailey was one of the most distinctive singers of the 1930s and '40s and she was at the peak of her powers during the World War II years. Particularly worthy are the first four selections (including an extended version of "Rockin' Chair") in which she is accompanied by pianist Teddy Wilson. "Squeeze Me" is taken from the Esquire All-American concert of 1944. There are three songs in which Bailey is joined by a sextet led by her husband vibraphonist Red Norvo (clarinetist Aaron Sachs is in good form), ten songs on which Bailey is accompanied by Paul Baron's orchestra, a heated version of "Dinah" with Wilson and trumpeter Charlie Shavers, and the final studio date with a nonet. In addition to the first version of "Rockin' Chair," other highlights include "Sunday, Monday or Always," "More Than You Know," "Downhearted Blues," "From the Land of the Sky Blue Water," and "I'm Glad There Is You." Recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Mildred Bailey 04:37 Amazon
2 Mildred Bailey 03:53 Amazon
3 Mildred Bailey 04:28 Amazon
4 Mildred Bailey 03:08 Amazon
5 Mildred Bailey 02:46 Amazon
6 Mildred Bailey 03:47 Amazon
7 Mildred Bailey 05:10 Amazon
8 Mildred Bailey 02:52 Amazon
9 Mildred Bailey 03:12 Amazon
10 Mildred Bailey 02:55 Amazon
11 Mildred Bailey 03:36 Amazon
12 Mildred Bailey 02:32 Amazon
13 Mildred Bailey 01:45 Amazon
14 Mildred Bailey 03:34 Amazon
15 Mildred Bailey 03:20 Amazon
Mildred Bailey 03:21 Amazon
17 Mildred Bailey 03:46 Amazon
18 Mildred Bailey 02:16 Amazon
19 Mildred Bailey 02:04 Amazon
20 Mildred Bailey 03:05 Amazon
21 Mildred Bailey 02:50 Amazon
22 Mildred Bailey 03:04 Amazon
23 Mildred Bailey 02:52 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick