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The Incomparable Mildred Bailey

June 24, 2003

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Label: Columbia/Legacy
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 54:02
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0013AT3Z4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,381 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Mildred Bailey is one of the great "lost" figures in the history of American swing jazz, a vocalist who helped discover, promote and influence the careers of Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby and Tony Bennett (to name a few), and who recorded prolifically throughout the 1920s, '30s and '40s, before falling into poverty and ill health in the early 'Fifties. Her music was, quite simply, nothing short of stunning -- fans of Billie Holiday's sprightly early swing recordings will be amazed at the similarity between these two singers... But make no mistake: Bailey was there first, and to fans, her work is certainly on a par with that of the better-remembered Lady Day. This is a well-selected, generously programmed 18-track single-CD selection of some of Bailey's best recordings on Columbia, featuring her big hit, "Rocking Chair," and other lively swing tunes. Sure, you could quibble about this song or that being left out, but for the casual record buyer, this is a great introduction to Bailey's work, and a nice glimpse of her belting 'em out during her prime. Highly recommended!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on February 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Mildred Bailey was not just the first real Jazz band singer. She was one of the earliest real jazz singers and she continued to have a jazz based strain to her singing throughout her career unlike some singers with her success who might have gone more pop. She was fun. She was fun. She was fun. She jived, she joked, she played. You are going to smile when you hear Mildred and know she is really serious when she is serious. She could bring out the jazz in the most wooden of accompaniest, but usually she had great musicians, white, black or otherwise playing behind her, because Mildred is fun.

In an age before television, Bailey continued to have fans white and Black who did not know she was white. This remains true even recently when I have loaned tapes of Mildred to other African Americans without any liner notes or anything and had them ask why they had never heard of this great Black singer.

However, I do find it distressing that Mildred Bailey seems to be so forgotten. She was the first prominent female band singer in Jazz. She was and is fun to listen to and a great voice. Mildred was actually able to swing and swing hard even with Paul Whiteman. She produced masterpieces using some of the same small groups as Billie Holday for HER Columbia recordings, although Bailey semed to prefer Herschal Evans to Lester Young. Bailey was also pretty out front for the time as a white female singer performing with an all black combo--"Mildred Baily and Her Oxford Browns." Mildred was simply magnificent in the small combos her husband Red Novro organized, She had a sense of humor about her performances and a bit of salaciousness that you won't find in Billie's recordings.
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