Morgana King: 1930-2018

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Morgana King
Morgana King, a jazz singer with an unusual voice that seemed more in sync with classical than swing and who is perhaps best known as playing Marlon Brando's wife in the first two Godfather films, died earlier this year on March 22. She was 87.

The only reason we know about her passing is that Matt Schudel in yesterday's Washington Post wrote her belated obit. I was never a huge fan of King's voice or her recordings. I found her approach a bit belabored, the way a classical singer might take on jazz.

With that said, I've always adored her second album For You, For Me, For Evermore. Recorded for EmArcy in March 1956, the album was arranged and conducted by Dick Hyman. The different tracks featured a small group, brass and strings. The personnel included Chauncey Welsch (tb); Hank Jones (p) and Al Caiola and Mundell Lowe (g). Others are unlisted.

Deeply influenced by Sarah Vaughan, King sang For You, For Me, Forever More, Here I'll Stay, There's a Lull in My Life, It's Delovely, Down in the Depths, The Song Is You, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, Everything I Love, If You Could See Me Now, I'll String Along With You, Everything I've Got and You're Not So Easy to Forget.

In reading the Washington Post's obit, I wasn't aware she had been married to Tony Fruscella. More on the scarcely recorded trumpet player on another day.

JazzWax tracks: You'll find Morgana King's For You, For Me, Forever More (EmArcy) here. If you download, be aware that the tracks are in reverse order.

JazzWax clip: Here's the album's title track...



And here's I'll String Along With You...



Here's King singing briefly in the Godfather...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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