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Susannah McCorkle - The Music of Harry Warren

Susannah McCorkle was not only one of the most important jazz singers of the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, but she was one of the first young vocalists to explore and revitalize older standards. Years before Diana Krall emerged on the scene, McCorkle interpreted music of the 1930s in fresh and memorable versions, often adding additional choruses of lyrics that had been discarded or forgotten. A subtle improviser, she had a very attractive voice, enthusiasm, and superior musicianship.


Her first official solo album was 1976’s The Music Of Harry Warren. With assistance by the superb swing pianist Keith Ingham, Bruce Turner on alto and clarinet, bassist Len Skeat and drummer Johnny Richardson, Susannah McCorkle is heard performing 17 songs by the very significant film composer Harry Warren. She mixes together such standards as “Lullaby Of Broadway,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” and  “Forty-Second Street” with superior obscurities including “With Plenty Of Money And You,” “About A Quarter To Nine” and “Me And The Blues.” She does full justice to Harry Warren’s music and this early set serves as a perfect introduction not only to Warren’s songs but the artistry of the late great Susannah McCorkle.

SKU: IC1141

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Details

Details

Susannah McCorkle was not only one of the most important jazz singers of the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, but she was one of the first young vocalists to explore and revitalize older standards. Years before Diana Krall emerged on the scene, McCorkle interpreted music of the 1930s in fresh and memorable versions, often adding additional choruses of lyrics that had been discarded or forgotten. A subtle improviser, she had a very attractive voice, enthusiasm, and superior musicianship. Her first official solo album was 1976’s The Music Of Harry Warren. With assistance by the superb swing pianist Keith Ingham, Bruce Turner on alto and clarinet, bassist Len Skeat and drummer Johnny Richardson, Susannah McCorkle is heard performing 17 songs by the very significant film composer Harry Warren. She mixes together such standards as “Lullaby Of Broadway,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” and “Forty-Second Street” with superior obscurities including “With Plenty Of Money And You,” “About A Quarter To Nine” and “Me And The Blues.” She does full justice to Harry Warren’s music and this early set serves as a perfect introduction not only to Warren’s songs but the artistry of the late great Susannah McCorkle.

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Susannah McCorkle
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor pianist Keith Ingham, Bruce Turner on alto and clarinet, bassist Len Skeat and drummer Johnny Richardson
SKU IC1141

Reviews

Customer Reviews (2)

Superbly Susannah!Review by Big Toots
Quality
A sour film critic, basing his argument on a particular jazz biopic that ended badly (it might have been Lady Sings the Blues or one of a few), once wrote – and I’m paraphrasing - “There aren’t too many happy jazz lives in the movies.” In a way, the guy was right given the small sample size of happier and hipper flicks about jazz and its constituents that have made since Orchestra Wives, The Glenn Miller Story and The Five Pennies.

Susannah McCorkle’s suicide in 2001 might have been the end of her physical life. However, the tragedy is not the essence or resonance of her artistic story. That act is utterly and completely antithetical when compared to her truly enormous musical (and other) talents. She had plenty across the creative landscape. This was a sensitive soul – probably a genius - who spoke five languages, wrote award-winning literature, survived breast cancer (and her father’s own suicide), performed music therapy, and who sang her heart out with emotional depth, vulnerability, grace and humor.

Those musical talents are so wonderfully evident on this superb offering recorded in England in 1976 with a British quartet. Here McCorkle grabs musical hold of 16 well and lesser-known Harry Warren compositions, almost all of which were introduced in happy movies. Although she was still developing stylistically and vocally on this session, McCorkle’s attractive voice and flair for lyric and dynamic interpretation is present (“I Had the Craziest Dream/No Love No Nothin’”). She’s light on her vocal feet and can swirl-swing across lines with supreme grace (“About A quarter to Nine,” “Sweet and Slow”). Singing cabaret in her later career, she could also deliver the obligatory change-of-pace novelty with as much appeal and zip as Blossom Dearie. She exhibits that quality early on here with “The Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish,” “I Take to You” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”

The quartet behind McCorkle handles the effort well, although drummer Johnny Richardson’s propensity for playing bass drum on all four beats is somewhat intrusive on the uptempo material. The best selections are those cuts where pianist Keith Ingham and McCorkle are paired alone. That’s where this bird has a chance to open up and let fly.

There probably won’t be a Susannah McCorkle biopic. No matter, we have this fine recording and all of her later marvelous music to savor. Now that’s a happy ending.


(Posted on 4/28/2015)
The Music of Harry WarrenReview by Simon Sez
Quality
It was such a tragedy when Susannah McCorkle died. However there is nothing tragic about her music, for her singing was full of joy. She loved to take old standards, find new choruses and verses, and bring them back to life.

The Music Of Harry Warren was her first official recording and it features her with a fine quartet that includes Keith Ingham on piano and Bruce Turner on alto and clarinet. Susannah McCorkle sings 17 Harry Warren songs including several that have rarely been heard since the 1930s. I especially enjoy “With Plenty Of Money And You,” “About A Quarter To Nine” and “Remember My Forgotten Man.” Not too many singers today have heard of any of those tunes! This is a great album.

Simon Sez: Susannah McCorkle’s sings 17 wonderful songs on The Music Of Harry Warren (IC1141), her first and one of her best records.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)

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