Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Beauty and the Beat!

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Beauty and the Beat!

Article excerpt

BEAUTY AND THE BEAT!

PEGGY LEE & THE GEORGE SHEARING QUINTET

CAPITOL JAZZ 7243 5 42308 2 0

Peggy Lee (vcl) George Shearing (ldr, p) Ray Alexander (vib) Toots Thielmanns (g) Carl Pruitt (b) Ray Mosca (d) Armando Peraza (cga,per). Probably Miami, Florida, May 28-30, 1959

Do I Love You?/I Lost My Sugar In Salt Lake City/If Dreams Come True/All Too Soon/Mambo In Miami/Isn't It Romantic?/Blue Prelude/You Came A Long Way From St. Louis/Always True To You In My Fashion/There'll Be Another Spring/Get Out Of Town/Satin Doll/Nobody's Heart/Don't Ever Leave Me. TT 34:36

Beauty and The Beat! is one of jazz's finest albums, featuring Peggy Lee and George Shearing, yet its path to fruition is also one of jazz's most confusing journeys! Read on! The initial release of this music was on Capitol LP ST1219 in 1959 and the liner notes crowed that it was the first time Lee and Shearing had recorded together (true!) and that it was a live performance before the second annual Disc Jockey Convention in Miami (false!). It certainly seemed live to those of us who snapped up the album - there were folks applauding and Peggy and George talking on its 12 tracks.

Capitol then converted the LP to CD (CDP 7-98454-2) in 1992, keeping the original 12 tracks and adding two new ones ("Nobody's Heart" & "Don't Ever Leave Me"), but now pointing out that the spoken introductions for the LP version and the two additional tracks were recorded in a studio, but still maintaining that the earlier tracks were live. The CD also listed the members of the Shearing Quintet for the first time, but with two of its personnel incorrect. Note that the producer was Michael Cuscuna of Mosaic and Capitol Records.

Finally, Cuscuna issued this CD in 2003 and, hold on to your hat, he confesses that NONE of the music was live (we already know about the phony intros) and was all recorded in a Miami or nearby studio, not during the convention. Cuscuna also corrected the make-up of Shearing's Quintet - the 1992 CD listed the wrong bass player (James Bond vice Carl Pruit) and drummer (Roy Haynes vice Ray Mosca). Apparently, attempts were made to record Lee and Shearing live during the Convention, but technical problems prevented it. Cuscuna writes "So here for the first time is the music that Peggy Lee and George Shearing produced without the audience and background noise, the artificial announcements and the high-school-gym echo chamber. …

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