My Jazz Love: Anita O’Day

One of my first loves, when it comes to jazz singing, was the great Anita O’Day. Happy Birthday, Anita Belle Colton! I last saw her perform live in 2001 or 2002 at the Blue Note in New York. Her voice wasn’t as strong at it once had been, but no matter: she was still the hippest cat on the bandstand. The phrasing, the swing–it was all there. (I even got to meet her upstairs in the greenroom and get an autograph and a picture taken with my idol.) One of her most well-known early performances is the one that first grabbed me: Let Me Off Uptown, also featuring, off course, Roy Eldridge; my fate as an Anita-o’phile was sealed upon hearing equally legendary performances like the video shown here. But my all time favorite Anita performance is one you might not know: her brilliant take on Leon Russell’s “A Song For You.” Sublime.

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2 Responses to My Jazz Love: Anita O’Day

  1. Peter Cox says:

    I would agree with your choice of Anita O’Day. I would place her right after Billie Holiday in the echelon of great female jazz singers.

  2. BIllie & Anita–two of the all time greatest.

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