Ethel Waters: Stormy Weather
Ethel Waters (vocals)
The Incomparable Ethel Waters (Columbia/Legacy 65852)
Sterling Bose (trumpet), Larry Binyon (clarinet, tenor sax), Fulton McGrath (piano), Joe Venuti, Harry Hoffman, Walter Edelstein, Lou Kosloff (violin): Dick McDonough (guitar), Artie Bernstein (bass), Stan King or Chauncey Morehouse (drums).
Composed by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler.
Recorded: New York, May 3, 1933
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
No other Jazz Age singer rivaled her versatility. Combining the tony diction of London's posh Mayfair salons (although she actually grew up in Philadelphia poverty) with gospel sincerity and an ever-lurking earthy inflection, Ethel Waters exercised an unmatched artistic range. With the savvy dramaturgy of a seasoned stage actress, Miss Waters didn't simply sing a song, she enacted a minidrama replete with theatrical flourishes. Here, as she concludes, we want to rush the stage crying "Brava!" and strew bouquets at her feet. In 2003, when the Grammy folks enshrined this track in their Hall of Fame, they got it right.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz