Jan 1, 2015

Happy New Years With Rita And Her Tiger, La Vergne's Absinthe, Plus Dancing Gwen, A Classical Himbo And A Whippity-Jazzy Secret Song!

Whoopee! It's the New Year! Do you have any resolutions? I do. To offer you, loyal reader, more and more exclusives. Let's start out with two, count 'em, two! They're a bit off the beaten path, as they say - so much so that I had trouble finding pictures for both and for one, I couldn't even find a proper biography. What to do, what to do.

Case in point is Rita Moss, a jazz-pop vocalist whose "Talk To Me Tiger" is a thrilling, one-of-a-kind LP. Known for her four-octave range, Rita, or "Queen Moss," as her fans dubbed her, only recorded three full-length records (that I can find). She's often compared to Yma Sumac, but I think of her more as a precursor to Minnie Riperton, what with her eerily floating, way-up-high soprano and ersatz instrumentations. The title track is actually the LP's most ordinary, likely shoe-horned in by a record exec hoping for a radio hit, but otherwise, Rita's anything but ordinary. For reals.

Perhaps even more obscure, but just as fantastic, is the cooler-than-cool La Vergne:

La Vergne was a jazz singing pianist and a beloved part of New Orleans nightlife in the French Quarter from the 1940s through the late 1950s, proving particularly popular at "Old Absinthe House," a Bourbon Street hotspot with a storied 200 year history. Though she recorded a few LPs, she remains largely unknown to jazz aficionados, and those who do know of her tend to write her off as "just another bar singer." That's a shame, I think, since her feather-like phrasing sneaks up on you, as if a friend or lover were whispering their most intimate thoughts just within earshot. Perhaps if she'd been more showboat-ish, her reputation might be more conspicuous. But I like her just the way she is. Elegant, light and above all stylish. If you happen to have a pounding hangover this morning - and I know some of you do - then La Vergne is the perfect antidote. 

But then, many of you may be continuing the party as we speak - and why not? It's Thursday, which as everyone knows, is the New Friday, so why not keep partying, just like everyone's fav Broadway redhead, Gwen Verdon?

Gwen lit up the stage, as you might know, in "Redhead," a 1959 musical she agreed to do - but on the condition that Bob Fosse come on board to direct and choreograph (smart gal). It wasn't the biggest hit of either of their careers, but it did have a good run and a jaunty song score by Albert Hague and Dorothy Fields. Yes, there was an original cast recording, but there was also a finger-snappin' Big Band version by Meyer Davis, the renown bandleader who got his start in 1915 and was still kickin' in the late 1950s. So pour another cocktail and light another bowl of legally-authorized, all-natural greenery. The New Year is just starting!

But what if you're not still partying? Or not hungover? Maybe you had a perfectly pleasant evening last night - with friends, family or by yourself - and now just want to musically cleanse the air about you for the coming year. Not to worry. The Happy Himbo of Classical Music is here to help.

Yes, our old friend JBell, whose swooning fans are legion, is here to pluck at your heartstrings with a collection of Bach concertos - because, as you probably know, in addition to being the reigning Slice of the Sinfonietta, he's also an unrivaled violin virtuoso ("Oh, right, that," say his fans). It's a magnificent CD. Thrill to his wild emotion, his poignant subtlety, as he gives that Bach what for!

And, no, I have no idea what he's doing with the engorged-seeming violin scroll tip, or what it's meant to suggest, but I suppose we can all take a guess:

The Secret Song File is thrilled by this year already, her 29th - and, yes, she's been 29 for some time now, but. What. Ev. Er. As she was telling her therapist the other day, each new year is like a drum roll...which kind of reminded her of that new-ish indie movie with a terrific jazz soundtrack (and a blink-or-you'll-miss-it cameo by the Classical Himbo himself) (no, really). The movie itself? Imagine Debbie Allen with a baton and you'll get the idea. In other words, it's a lot of fun and frequently silly to boot (in a good way).

But silliness aside, the soundtrack is a winner, and it warms my heart (which I keep buried in the backyard) that a jazz movie was even made, much less an accompanying soundtrack. Given that, who knows what 2015 will bring? Another movie studio hack (with better leaked movies than "Annie")? A cure for stupid? Deep thinking politicians? Anything is possible.

Happy New Year's to you and yours. I actually mean that.

Tell us all the resolutions you'll break in the comments, if you like!


oscarjaffe said...

Happy New Year and thanks for all this wonderful music, but is it possible to use any other downloader than 4shared, which forces you to sign in with your social media account and gives them the right to access your information and post for you? Much as I'd like to listen to the REDHEAD lp, I'm not comfortable with giving them that info.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

4Shared does not require you to do that. Simply hit the "Download" button - not the "Priority Download" one - and follow the prompts from there. Happy New Year!

oscarjaffe said...

The only thing that is downloading that way are dmgs and not the file. I have tried it numerous times and pressed download everywhere it is indicated. Much as I would enjoy listening to the music, do not want to download that kind of software.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Step-by-step instructions:

1. Turn on your browser's AdBlock!

2. Click the Download button, which is right next to the Share button. Do not click the Priority Download button.

3. After clicking, you are taken to a new page. Click the Free Download bar.

4. A countdown will occur above the Free Download bar, sometimes a few seconds, sometimes nothing. After this, the zip file will download.

There will be no malware, no info you need to fill out, no Facebook, no dmg files.

Good luck!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

If you're still having trouble downloading it after trying the above, let me know and I'll give you an alternate link.

The file has been downloaded 147 times on 4shared, so it's working, but maybe there's a browser issue on your end that I'm unaware of.

oscarjaffe said...

I installed AdBlock and followed all of your steps and yet again, I got the exact one-click download window to download instantly with my social network. This is on firefox. As you have said, your files do not work on Safari. I don't have this issue on any other program other than 4shared (that I know of) and had no problem downloading the La Vergne Smith(thanks for that, btw - it is wonderful). So any alternate link would be appreciated.

Keir said...

Have to agree with Oscar Jaffe- I don't bother with anything if it's on 4shared. I thought it was because I'm in Germany..

Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thank you so much for providing so much sunshine throughout the year.

Keir said...

Sorry, but have to repeat what Oscar says- I just tried on Firefox, Chrome, Safari- I get to the "wait 20 seconds" and when I press 'download' a page opens demanding I sign in via a social network. There's no way getting past it.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Redhead's on a new server!

Hopefully all will be well now.
And I'll take note about 4Shared and drop them from my list.

oscarjaffe said...

worked perfectly! Thanks!

Keir said...


E Craig said...

La Vergne reminds me of Diana Krall. Thanks for the great tunes.

Coercin' A Bull said...

Secret song - quite, quite brilliant :)

Happy New Year and all the best!

espo said...

Happy new year "Cheerful"..Thanks for starting 2015 off with two Female vocalists that I have not heard of!!
"Rita" & "La vergne" !!!Ain't the net great for learning and hearing new and different Singers...Thanks for all your different music...definatly not run of the mill !! And just to let you know I Have no Problem with 4Shared...so lets hope our Blogs keep on going in 2015 with no interfearence from TCP !!!|Luigi !!

Mariano said...

What is the password? to file Rita Moss "Talk To Me, Tiger?"

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

The password for all files is listed on the site's right column in orange letters - about halfway down.

Jack Gardner said...

Might we have a repost of Rita Moss>

Much appreciated!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Rita's re-upped just for you. Enjoy, Jack!