Peggy Lee

Basin Street East

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This is a lesser Peggy Lee release. Originally it was planned that the singer (at the height of her popularity) would record a live set at Basin Street East in New York. Unfortunately, she caught a cold and her voice was a bit hoarse, so some of the numbers were re-recorded in the studio the following month and spliced quite effectively into the set. However, whether in concert or not, the performances here are rather routine with no chances taken (the dozen sidemen do not get a single solo), and everything sounds pretty well planned in advance. Lee, who is best here on the ballads, never wanders at all from the melodies, and these renditions of her usual repertoire have nothing unique or unusual to offer except perhaps an overly rapid version of "Fever."

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