Jeri Southern (with Marty Paich's Dek-tette): Lazy Bones


Lazy Bones


Jeri Southern (vocals)


The Ultimate Jeri Southern (EMI (UK) 40468)

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Jeri Southern (vocals), Frank Beach (trumpet), Don Fagerquist (trumpet), Bob Enevoldsen (valve trombone), Vince DeRosa (French horn), John Kitzmiller (tuba), Herb Geller (alto sax), Georgie Auld (tenor sax), Jack DuLong (baritone sax), Bill Pittman (guitar), Buddy Clark (bass), Mel Lewis (drums).

Composed by Hoagy Carmichael & Johnny Mercer. Arranged by Marty Paich


Recorded: Los Angeles, January 25, 1958


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

I suppose it was inevitable that the two most "homespun" of song composers, Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer, would eventually collaborate. The two worked together for several years and while the partnership created the masterpiece "Skylark", they also produced material like "Lazy Bones" where the folksiness gets laid on pretty thick (for example, the song talks about making corn meal!).

Jeri Southern included the song on her first Roulette album, Southern Breeze, and she captures the humor of the lyric perfectly, assisted by a splendid arrangement by Marty Paich. Paich's ever-flexible dek-tette, in its first recording without co-founder Mel Tormé, plays in a light and subtle manner, offering only the necessary support for Southern as she off-handedly berates the song's title character. Southern's cool, understated approach keeps the humor low-key, and her superb diction makes every word crystal-clear. The slow, relaxed tempo only allows for a chorus-and-a-half (even though Roulette was a jazz label, they still marketed singles, so all of the tunes on this album range from 2 1/2 to 4 minutes each). When Southern finishes the first chorus about two minutes in, she yields to the laconic tuba of John Kitzmiller, who moseys through the melody, set off by exaggerated accents from the dek-tette at the end of each phrase. After Southern finishes the last chorus and Kitzmiller returns for the tag, Paich tries to nudge him into action with a series of sharply accented punches from the brass. No luck, though as "Lazy Bones" rolls over and goes back to sleep.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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