Sunday, 27 April 2008

What the Caked Crusader chose to bake to this week (26 April 2008)

I think I’ve mentioned before that, as a genuine rule, I’m not a fan of female singers often finding them too shrill or affected. The major exception – quite simply the best female singer ever – is of course the Queen of the Blues, Dinah Washington.

What I love about Dinah is her range. Her voice is a wonderful ball of contradictions: smoky, tart, smooth, rich, edgy and she’s just as fantastic whether barking out feisty lyrics or crooning the saddest love song you’ve ever heard.

Like many singers of her time there are too many recording sessions with strings and orchestras. I always prefer singers with smaller ensembles (preferably the only things with strings being guitars and double bass). My two favourites are “The Swingin’ Miss D” and “Jazz Sides of Miss D” the latter of which has simply the most awesome version of “Come Rain or Come Shine” that I’ve ever heard; recorded in a night club there’s a magical bit where she really cuts loose on the line “days may be cloudy or sunny” and the audience breaks into spontaneous applause. Any modern chanteuses who think they’re divas should listen to that and hang their head in shame!

There are a lot of Dinah recordings out there which makes you wonder how she found the time to get through seven husbands......what a woman!

No comments: