Let Me Off Uptown

Tomorrow’s edition of “Jazz From the Archives” on WBGO radio features jazz vocalist Anita O’Day. You’ll hear tracks from O’Day’s 1952-62 work (thought by some to be her best recording years) on the Clef and Verve labels, with such arrangers as Russell Garcia, Jimmy Giuffre, Bill Holman, Quincy Jones, Johnny Mandel, Billy May, and Gary McFarland, plus small groups led by Gene Harris, Roy Kral, Oscar Peterson, and Cal Tjader.

Way back when, in my NYC hanging days (that would be about 30 years ago) I got to hear Ms. O’Day quite a bit in person at Michael’s Pub, an upscale room on East 55th street. Norman Simmons was her pianist then and I loved every minute of it. In those days I also used to go over to Jimmy Ryans club where Roy Eldridge ‘s group was in residence (Dick Katz on piano, Major Holley on bass, Eddie Locke on drums) and the standard repertoire always included Roy’s imitation of Anita singing “Let Me Off Uptown.” (here’s the original version)

“Jazz From the Archives” featuring Anita O’Day airs tomorrow, Sunday, March 18, from 11 p.m. to midnight, Eastern Daylight Time.

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