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A big plus for me is this video provided some excellent shots of her long time drummer, John Poole, who is one of my idols and inspirations (and was also with Anita at the 58 Newport Jazz Festival.)
The opening song - Wave - was a good warm-up because when the next song - You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To - got going she hit her stride and maintained it for the rest of the concert. In that song she and Tommy Whittle on tenor saxophone traded fours in an extended call and response lasting more bars than I bothered to count. At one point the other musicians stopped while Anita and Mr. Whittle continued, building tension, which was released in a remarkably timed rejoining by John Poole, Merrill Hover in piano and Lennie Bush on bass. The next song, Green Dolphin Street was clear evidence that the energy was going to stay the entire performance. Even the next song, the ballad I Can't Get Started did not break the pace.
I thoroughly enjoy watching Anita in performance, and especially when those performances are years apart so one can compare and contrast them. I have every DVD of her that is available, including her short appearance on Jazz on a Summer's Day, and none of her energy or talent had left her when this performance was [thankfully] captured on film. This, like every other video I have of her, is a treasure and contains a performance to be savored again and again.
I had only heard her on records or CDs, and had formed my opinion based on how she sounded, and anecdotes I had heard or read about her.
I must say after watching this DVD that she had an amazing, unique talent: I don't think I've ever seen any other singer seemingly imitate a musical instrument in precisely the same way - and she seemed to do it quite naturally, and it didn't seem to be ridiculous, as it could easily have been.
I guess it goes without saying that one has surely missed out on something great, not to have seen her in person - because she definitely does seem to have had a very unique talent, and was certainly a cut above the ordinary.
Even a very good singer doesn't just move seamlessly through the music, using her voice as if it were an instrument (which it really is, of course) but not an instrument in the sense that we ordinarily think of it.
And so maybe what it boils down to is that she really was a "diva," in the purest sense of the word, and, as such, had a little problem relating to mere mortals.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
~ While this 55 minute DVD does capture a nice performance by Anita O'Day at age 67, it is just that = nice. Not outstanding. Read morePublished on March 3, 2012 by D.R.L.
Anita could still swing at her age in this one! Of course, she probably could until the day she died.
One of the best-ever jazz singers, if not THE best!
All too often, performances by jazz greats released on DVD date from the artists' declining years, when their technique or control has begun to slip, making most of these... Read morePublished on February 1, 2009 by Matthew Watters