12/14/11 By Mike DeVita
Doris Day and ALL THAT JAZZ
At the ripe old age of 87 or 88 or whatever (sources disagree), Doris Day has a brand new #1 Album!!!
I grew up with Doris Day, so to speak. I remember her as the most popular female band vocalist when she appeared with Les Brown and his Band. I did not think of her as a jazz vocalist. I mean I doubt that anyone would consider SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY a jazz classic. A classic...yes, but not jazz.
Then I got to thinking. Doris recorded over 70 songs with the Brown Organization, and many of them, indeed, were jazz. I specificaly recall DIG IT, ALEXANDER THE SWOOZE, AH, YES, THERE'S GOOD BLUES TONIGHT, and SOONER OR LATER, all of them minor hits. (They called them MINOR if they were not in the Top 10; today, anything in the Top 200 is somewhat significant!)
But that was just the beginning...the real test came when she started recording songs as a solo artist, and her first 4 sides were all jazz oriented. Her major single hits (out of some 100 Charted Top Hits and over 800 recordings) were NOT jazz: SECRET LOVE, QUE SERA, SERA, IF I GIVE MY HEART TO YOU etc.
Along the way there were plenty of songs that were, especially in her very first movie in 1948 with PUT EM IN A BOX, TIE EM WITH A RIBBON AND THROW EM IN THE DEEP BLUE SEA and I'M IN LOVE. Some of her most successful albums were studies in jazz: DAY BY DAY/ DAY BY NIGHT/ DUET (WITH THE ANDRE PREVIN TRIO)/ CUTTI N CAPERS and others.
So...to be placed in the jazz category is a pretty good thing...except, as I said, Doris Day can sing anything. Ever hear PURPLE COW or LOAD OF HAY or A GUY IS A GUY (nonsense songs that were BIG BIG BIG). Or beautiful ballads like WHEN I FALL IN LOVE, AGAIN, I'LL NEVER STOP LOVING YOU...these were all big Doris hits. And she could even rock! Try TWO HEARTS, TWO KISSES (and forget the versions by Sinatra or
Boone) or ROLY POLY . How about country? QUICKSILVER comes to mind or GAME OF BROKEN HEARTS (which she sang with Her Country Cousins). Her first big hit was a polka: PAPA, WON'T YOU DANCE WITH ME? Two of her best (minor hits) were: WHERE ARE YOU NOW THAT I NEED YOU and I DIDN'T SLIP/I WASN'T PUSHED/I FELL.
Slip easily into the beauty of this new Cd with previously unreleased material. You are right: she did not record any of the songs today. The latest of them were done in 1986. But they have been updated with new music and great technology and a couple of added effects produced currently (including a message by Doris and a neat new ending on one of the songs). Most of the new material was done for her 1986 cable show, "Doris Day's Best Friends" but never released in any form. Listen and love; this is an album that will make you say: Doris should never have stopped recording. Thankfully, her music...regardless of the category, will be around as long as recorded music can still be heard but mostly enjoyed.
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