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Sings The Winners

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 19, 1990
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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B00000478S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,338 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael St John on November 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The "Winners" of the title refers to the poll-winning bandleaders and composers associated with the songs she chose to cover here. Many of the songs are best known as instrumentals, so it's a fresh experience to hear Anita tackle the tunes vocally. Where lyrics are in short supply, she toys with the melody in her scat phrases. So even with the sketchiest parts to sing, she will hold your interest because, as always, Anita can play with the form of a tune as well as any man with a horn.
Try "Four Brothers" and "Frenesi" to hear her give-and-take with the band.
The 12 tracks from the original LP were recorded in April 1958; the first half of the program arranged by Marty Paich, the second half by Russ Garcia. The seven bonus tracks are from various sessions done between 1956-63.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anita O'Day, whose singing career began in the big band era, was in the prime of her life when she recorded this LP for Verve in 1958. Amazingly, "Winners" was cut in only two days of that year, April 2 & 3, with Russ Garcia and His Orchestra on the first day (tracks 7-12), and the band of Marty Paich on the second (tracks 1-6). This CD has so many great cuts, it could have been called "The Very Best of Anita." "Take the A Train," "Peanut Vendor" and "Frenesi" are especially good. This is, without question, one of the best female vocalist recordings out there. Unfortunately, the six bonus tracks detract from the CD. But, that complaint aside, "Winners" easily rates 5 stars in my book.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the CD I live by. My greatest influence as a jazz singer is Anita O'Day and this is THE album to have. She scats like an instrumentalist of the highest degree and her phrasing is impeccable!! If you don't have one of her CD's yet, this is the one to purchase!
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By A Customer on August 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the greatest albums done by any female jazz vocalist. Every track is superb but what Anita does with "Body and Soul" is nothing short of amazing. Her "Early Autumn" is purely gorgeous. She's in excellent voice, inventive, surprising, versatile (she's such a good uptempo singer people forget she does ballads beautifully with tenderness but none of the histrionics lady singers tend to love) and the accompaniments are first rate. The bonus tracks are from some of her finest recordings. This is what great jazz singing is all about and the production values, as with all of O'Day's Verve issues, are first-rate. I always loved this cover, too, but the Japanese cover is more glamorous.
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Format: Audio CD
I didn't discover this talented musician (Anita O'Day) until about a week or two before her unfortunate death at age 87. Her unique sound (I think which reminisces at times Judy Garland territory, but that's just a personal opinion), uncanny scatting abilities and amazing sense of swing engaged me enough to dig into her long musical legacy--and, since I adored her take on Miles Davis' "Four" after hearing it, I knew this was the CD to start out with (since it features "Four" as the, of course, fourth track), and it is indeed great. This re-release features the original set list from the first printing of Anita O'Day Sings the Winners and much more. "Four" happens to be my favorite song here and O'Day gives a tremendous performance with some brilliantly written lyrics (see album insert for details), but that's because it's the first song I heard from O'Day (and my favorite to date) and therefore I'm biased...but opener "Take the 'A' Train" (a classic), the amazing "Interlude (A Night in Tunisia)" (another favorite) and the scatwonderful "Four Brothers" make for perfect listens; "Frenesi," "Body and Soul," "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Hershey Bar" are all wonderful as well. Songs like the Latin-influenced "Peanut Vendor" and standards like jazz favorite "My Funny Valentine" are only improved upon by O'Day's wonderfully brash, but confident, vocal delivery. Though she may no longer be here, her music lives on to this day...and Anita O'Day Sings the Winners is definitely an album to purchase for ANY music listener!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
As a staunch Anita O'Day fan I am sometimes asked by friends to recommend one of her albums, to which I usually respond with Anita O'Day: Finest Hour. However, when I am asked why I am so fanatical about Anita, I play this album for the inquirer and that pretty much answers their question.

I am a drummer, so an article I wrote titled Jezebel of Jazz & Drummer's Vocalist explains my attraction. Her vocal stylization (her words) allowed her to sing at the fastest tempos (Four Brothers is a good example), and her phrasing on some of the songs here, like Interlude, set her apart. And the reason I call her a drummer's vocalist is because she actually took drum lessons from her first husband, Don Carter. She also has a long association with John Poole who was her drummer for decades (and is also on this album).

Every song on this 1958 album is a winner in my opinion - there is not a song nor a performance on the entire track list that I do not love, which is why I listen to it so often. In addition, tracks 13-19 are actually bonus tracks that did not appear on the original album, making this even more valuable.

If you are an O'Day fan and do not own this album you have a large gap in your collection. If you are curious about Anita and want to sample her music, the album I cited above is a better starting point, but that is not to say you would go wrong by starting with this one - the other album gives examples of her across her career, while this one captures her during a powerful period of her life (she was basking in the resurgence of fame from her performance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival during this period.) Better, the bargain-priced set, 8 Classic Albums, contains this album (in its original twelve track format), plus seven more of her Verve years albums - and all of them are winners.
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