2018 UK CD collection.
Ivie Anderson was a jazz singer who was so versatile and highly regarded that she was the longest-serving female vocalist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, occupying that exacting role from 1932 through to 1942, a vital and exciting formative era for Ellington's music. Born in 1905, she began performing in her native Los Angeles in 1921, and by 1925 was singing at New York's famous Cotton Club and toured with stage musicals, before joining Earl Hines in 1930. She was soon hired by the Duke, and enjoyed a lengthy stay with him, as he made the most of her fine jazz feel, and her ability to work across a range of styles and material, from highly original renditions of up-tempo material like her much-lauded recording of "It Don't Mean A Thing" to sensitive treatments of ballads like "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good" which place her alongside the likes of much better known peers as Billie Holiday.
This great value 50-track 2-CD set primarily comprises recordings with the Ellington orchestra for the Brunswick, Columbia, RCA-Victor, Variety & Master labels across the era, including the 1942 pop and R&B hits "I Got It Bad" and "Hayfoot, Strawfoot", plus later solo recordings for the Excello and Black & White labels, including her 1944 hit "Mexico Joe". It also includes a version with Duke of "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" which she performed in the 1942 Marx Brothers movie "A Day At The Races". It's a thoroughly enjoyable and, we hope, nicely representative overview of the most important period of her career and a fine showcase for a distinctive performer who has not received the recognition her talent merits.
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