Feb 28, 2015

Shearing Plays With Sassy & Staton, Plus Previn Pills And A Diamonelle-Like Secret Song!


Have you missed me? I've missed you, dear reader. But, as I always say, I'll never post just to post. Besides, the wait has been worth it. Ergo, Dakota. Isn't her face luminous? And the smile! Such nice choppers she has. And the wig. Perfection! Dakota herself is already perfection, but when you hook her up with the right musician, ka-boom! In 1957, one such ka-boom transpired when she collaborated on the LP "In The Night" (a Perfect-Dakota Cheerful Exclusive!) with blind, British-born piano master and jazz band leader George Shearing. 


To say that they bring out the best in each other is a wild understatement. With tracks that alternate between George and his crack quintet and tracks in which they back Dakota, the album is a jazz lover's dream date. Plus, no one sings "I Hear Music" with as much style and joy as Dakota. The LP was restored a few years back and sounds dreamy-perfect, as if it were recorded yesterday. 


George Shearing had a talent for finding just the right singer at just the right time in their career, like a certain jazz legend below who was familiarly known as "Sassy."


"Sassy" - or Sarah Vaughn to us mere mortals - joined George and his band in 1962 for "Sassy Meets Shearing." This LP hasn't undergone any restoration, and yes, you can tell, but don't let that scare you away. This is another Shearing dream date. Shearing was at the peak of his popularity - and so naturally found himself snubbed by the jazz establishment - while Sarah, a singular jazz vocalist who'd already hit the mainstream, is a great counterpart to Shearing's sleek Afro-Cuban rhythms.


Did you watch the Oscars last weekend? Were you, um, indifferent to the presentation? I know I was, and so were many others (Wesley Morris said it best). Why, it was enough to make one reach for a doll or two or-three-or-four-or-five. 


The Oscar show demands a palate cleanser, don't you think? Cue David Cronenberg. At your local theatre right now, his delicious black comedy about Hollywood is gleefully unspooling, and trust me, it's a doozy - and a soon-to-be-cult-movie. But perhaps your tastes run a bit more on the classic side.


If that's the case, you can never go wrong with Neely O'Hara and friends in "Valley Of The Dolls," a still-hilarious camp gem (and a staple of gayboy pajama parties since its release, though you don't have to be gay to love it). Plus, there's Sharon Tate's epically loopy performance as Jennifer North, drug addict and supermodel extraordinaire (she was Golden Globe nominated dont'cha know). As to the score by "Johnny" Williams, it does not disappoint, and of course includes all of the songs, like "I'll Plant My Own Tree!" and the pricelessly goofy "Come Live With Me." Trash has never glittered so brightly.


Oh, Hollywood. The Secret Song File conquered Lotus Land a looooong time ago - now it's they who come calling - but there was once a time when she played ingenue roles and just had to sit there, say nothing and "react" to the hero. Yeah. Didn't go well.


But all would soon change. Today, she cheers the up-and-comers, like a certain about-to-be-mainstream Welsh songstress, who glitters and glows like diamonds (*cough*). Her new album is sure to score high in the UK, like all of her albums have, but is international success awaiting? Let's assume it is and send her a fruit (*cough*) basket.

Speaking of fruit, are there any rhymes for orange? (and no, "forage" isn't close enough.)

Peel yourself a grape in the comments, if you like!

18 comments:

Anthony said...

Wonderful blog (as always) with my favs Staton,Vaughan, Shearing!! Thanks!

Keir said...

My requests to download have been deemed "invalid" on two separate browsers.
But enough complaints- how about lemon morange? And an in-depth study of the Cleveland Brown's use of orange, I recommend: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/grantland-exclusive-the-re-oranging-of-the-cleveland-browns/

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Hey, Anthony, glad you're enjoying Vaughn & Staton!

And Keir, all links are working properly as of this writing. Perhaps you're using a browser extension that's interfering...? And, silly, "morange" isn't a word. ;)

Keir said...

Morange: Person of Maori or Pacific Island descent with hair dyed an unnatural shade of ginger or blonde. (From Maori + Orange)
"Hey bro' what's up with the dye job? You're a morange!"
Not sure how one would then become a lemon morange...

tony said...

Another gloomy weather day here..thank goodness I have the Neely gif running on my desktop to cheer me! ha ha.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

That's all well and good, but don't pop any dolls or I'll feel terribly responsible if you then dash into the snow and shriek, "Sparkle, Tony, sparkle!" ;)

KH said...

"Have you missed me? I've missed you, dear reader. But, as I always say, I'll never post just to post."

Cheerful Earful fans will always be there…

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

You are too kind. :)

Keir said...

Thanks for the secret song; I've been listening to it through the week and think it's quite special with some rather thoughtful lyrics.

Raymond Kolle said...

The Dakota Staton/Shearing doesn't seem to be there anymore. Any chance of a re-upload?

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Voila! Re-upped just for you!

Raymond Kolle said...

Thank you for the re-upload. Much appreciated!!!

Tune Smith said...

Sorry to bother, but I just came across your blog and found here some of my cherished old musical memories.
I had never seen this album featuring Sassy with Shearing and I would very much like to listen to it.
Would you please re-up this post one more time.
Many thanks

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Sassy is ready to go, Tune Smith. Enjoy!

Tune Smith said...

Thank you very much for Sassy & George. And that was quick.
I have Shearing with other lady singers, it's odd how I overlooked this one.

Tune Smith said...

Sorry to trouble you again but I had difficulty with this download. Tracks 01 and 02 are missing and tracks 05 and 06 are duplicated. Would you please take a look at this. Thanks.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Should be okay now...

Tune Smith said...

It's OK now. Thank you.
If you go to nabulabula.blospot.com look for my collection "Cult singers of the 50s and 60s". You'll find there all the ladies you like and perhaps some you don't know so well.