Anita O'Day: Lover
Anita O'Day (vocals)
Anita O'Day and Billy May Swing Rodgers And Hart (Verve 000 235 30 2)
Uan Rasey (trumpet), Bill Schaeffer, Eddie Kusby, Murray McEachern, Tommy Pederson, Tommy Shepard (trombone); Wilbur Schwartz (alto sax), Fred Falensby, Justin Gordon (tenor sax); Chuck Gentry (baritone sax), Joe Castro (piano), Al Hendrickson (guitar), Irving Cottler or Stan Levey (drums).
Arranged and conducted by Billy May. Composed by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart.
Recorded: Los Angeles, June 6, 1960
Rating: 86/100 (learn more)
For the first 45 seconds of this 2-minute track, Anita O'Day treats her "Lover" as tenderly as, well, "Tenderly." Then arranger Billy May loses patience, and it's off to the races for a familiar sprint to the finish. Too bad. Anita was onto something. "Lover," a pretty Cinderella grown haggard from too many frantic pumpkin rides tempting midnight's last stroke, might indeed fare better as a ballad. But Billy May won't give her a chance. While Anita is certainly up to an up-tempo gallop, it's dismaying how a tried- and-true treatment can become a straightjacket for even the most creative interpreters.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz