Friday

MAY 13TH


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAXINE SULLIVAN!


BIRTHDAYS



1911

Maxine Sullivan, Vocal 
b. Homestead, PA, d. 1987.
né: Marietta Williams.
She started as a "local" New York singer. She got her first big break singing with the Claude Thornhill Orch, at New York's Onyx Club (on 52nd St. "Swing Street"). Her biggest hit recording was "Loch Lomond". In fact, she was often tagged "The Loch Lomond Lady". Another "Local" contemporary of hers was pianist/singer Hazel Scott, who also often played "the Joints" on 52nd St.
~Biography
by Scott Yanow 
A subtle and lightly swinging jazz singer, Maxine Sullivan's delivery was very likable, and she did justice to all of the lyrics she sang during her long career. After moving to New York, Sullivan sang during intermissions at the Onyx Club and was discovered by pianist Claude Thornhill. Thornhill recorded her with a sympathetic septet singing a couple of standards and two Scottish folk songs performed in swinging fashion -- "Annie Laurie" and "Loch Lomond." The latter became a big hit and Sullivan's signature song for the rest of her career.


Future sessions found her singing vintage folk tunes such as "Darling Nellie Gray," "I Dream of Jeanie," "Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes" and "If I Had a Ribbon Bow." Even if lightning did not strike twice, she was now a popular attraction. She appeared briefly in the movie Going Places opposite Louis Armstrong and in the Broadway show Swingin' the Dream. 
From 1940-42, Sullivan often sang with her husband, bassist John Kirby's Sextet, a perfect outlet for her cool sound. She starred for two years on a radio series, Flow Gently Sweet Rhythm; she had a reasonably successful solo career, and then in the mid-'50s (similar to Alberta Hunter) became a trained nurse.
In 1968, the singer began making a comeback, performing at festivals and even playing a little bit of valve trombone and flugelhorn. Now married to pianist Cliff Jackson, Sullivan (whose style and appealing voice were unchanged from earlier years) sometimes appeared with the World's Greatest Jazz Band, and she recorded frequently.
During her later period, she often sang with mainstream jazz groups, including Scott Hamilton's. Quite fittingly, the last song that she ever recorded in concert was the same as her first record, "Loch Lomond." Maxine Sullivan's earliest recordings are available on a Classics CD. A Tono LP has some of her mid-period recordings, and from 1969 on, she recorded for Monmouth Evergreen (reissued on Audiophile), Fat Cat Jazz, Riff, Kenneth, Stash, Atlantic and Concord.
1912 
Gil Evans, Arranger/Piano 

b. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, d. March 20
~Biography
by Scott Yanow
One of the most significant arrangers in jazz history, Gil Evans' three album-length collaborations with Miles Davis (Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain) are all considered classics. Evans had a lengthy and wide-ranging career that sometimes ran parallel to the trumpeter. Like Davis, Gil became involved in utilizing electronics in the 1970s and preferred not to look back and recreate the past.
He led his own band in California (1933-38) which eventually became the backup group for Skinnay Ennis; Evans stayed on for a time as arranger. He gained recognition for his somewhat futuristic charts for Claude Thornhill's Orchestra (1941-42 and 1946-48) which took advantage of the ensemble's cool tones, utilized French horns and a tuba as frontline instruments and by 1946 incorporated the influence of bop. He met Miles Davis (who admired his work with Thornhill) during this time and contributed arrangements of "Moon Dreams" and "Boplicity" to Davis' "Birth of the Cool" nonet.
After a period in obscurity, Evans wrote for a Helen Merrill session and then collaborated with Davis on Miles Ahead. In addition to his work with Miles (which also included a 1961 recorded Carnegie Hall concert and the half-album Quiet Nights), Evans recorded several superb and highly original sets as a leader (including Gil Evans and Ten, New Bottle Old Wine and Great Jazz Standards) during the era. In the 1960s among the albums he worked on for other artists were notable efforts with Kenny Burrell and Astrud Gilberto. After his own sessions for Verve during 1963-64, Evans waited until 1969 until recording again as a leader. That year's Blues in Orbit was his first successful effort at combining acoustic and electric instruments; it would be followed by dates for Artists House, Atlantic (Svengali) and a notable tribute to Jimi Hendrix in 1974.
After 1975's There Comes a Time (which features among its sidemen David Sanborn), most of Evans' recordings were taken from live performances. Starting in 1970 he began playing with his large ensemble on a weekly basis in New York clubs. Filled with such all-star players as George Adams, Lew Soloff, Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson, Chris Hunter, Howard Johnson, Pete Levin, Hiram Bullock, Hamiet Bluiett and Arthur Blythe among others, Evans' later bands were top-heavy in talent but tended to ramble on too long. Gil Evans, other than sketching out a framework and contributing his keyboard, seemed to let the orchestra largely run itself, inspiring rather than closely directing the music. There were some worthwhile recordings from the 1980s (when the band had a long string of Monday night gigs at Sweet Basil in New York) but in general they do not often live up to their potential. Prior to his death, Gil Evans recorded with his "arranger's piano" on duets with Lee Konitz and Steve Lacy and his body of work on a whole ranks with the top jazz arrangers.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:



1938.
Louis Armstrong and his orchestra
recorded When the Saints Go Marching In.
(Decca) 


1924.
Marlene Dietrich and Rudolf Sieber were married, 
and remained married for over 50 years.


 
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


1919


Six Brown Brothers



1925



Ben Selvin and his Orchestra
  • Charleston



    Ethel Waters

    Ethel Waters accompanied by her Ebony - Sweet Georgia Brown





    Four Varsity Eight - Charleston


      1926



      Lonnie Johnson - Lonnie's Got The Blues (With Piano By James Johnson)
      Ben Selvin Orch.
      • Valencia



      Irving Aronson and his Commanders


      Victoria Spivey
      • Long Gone Blues
      • No More Jelly Bean Blues - Piano by De Lloyd Barnes Cornet by Pierce Gist



      Roger Wolfe Kahn and his Orchestra



      1927



      Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven - S.O.L. Blues

      Tram - Bix and Lang
      Eddie Peabody
      • The Doll Dance



      Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra - I'm Coming Virginia

      Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

      1928



      Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

      1932



      Waring's Pennsylvanians -  A Picnic For Two
      • I Heard



      1938



      Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra
      • As Long As You Live, You'll Be Dead If You Die
      • Mexican Swing
      • So Little Time (So Much To Do)
      • When The Saints Go Marching In



      1941



      Fats Waller - Carolina Shout


      Fats Waller and his Rhythm
      • Ring Dem Bells




      LYRICS:
      Honeysuckle Rose
      Music: Fats Waller
      Lyricist: Andy Razaf
      Every honey bee fills with jealousy
      When they see you out with me
      I don't blame them
      Goodness knows
      Honeysuckle rose
      When you're passin' by,
      Flowers droop and sigh
      I know the reason why
      You're much sweeter
      Goodness knows
      Honeysuckle rose
      Well, don't buy sugar
      You just have to touch my cup
      You're my sugar
      And it's oh so sweet when you stir it up
      When I'm takin' sips
      From your tasty lips
      Seems the honey fairly drips
      You're confection
      Goodness knows
      Honeysuckle rose
      Well, don't buy sugar
      You just have to touch my cup
      You're my sugar
      And it's oh so sweet when you stir it up
      When I'm takin' sips
      From your tasty lips
      Seems the honey fairly drips
      You're confection
      Goodness knows
      Honeysuckle rose


      brought to you by... 
      ~confetta
      Special Thanks To: 
      The Red Hot Jazz Archives, 
      The Big Band DatabaseScott Yanow

      and all those who have provided content,
      images and sound files for this site.

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