Solitaire Miles and Willie Pickens are releasing a new album Born to Be Blue" this Spring in Chicago.
For Born To Be Blue, Solitaire utilized some of Chicago's top musicians, all of whom have the flexibility to sound at home in a swing combo. One particular joy of this CD is hearing a lot of fresh material, vintage songs that deserve to be revived. Born To Be Blue" is one of Mel Torme's best originals while You've Got to Crawl Before You Walk" was the only tune co-written by Torme and Duke Ellington. It is not often that one gets to hear such superior if forgotten numbers as Artie Shaw's Moonray" (which has a prominent role for bassist Joe Policastro), Midnite Blue" and."Make With The Kisses." The latter has rarely been performed since Mildred Bailey recorded it with Benny Goodman 70 years ago. While one easily imagine Billie Holiday performing Baby, What Else Can I Do," it was actually Ella Fitzgerald who recorded it in the 1940s. Other songs include I'll Never Be The Same," the charming Me And The Moon" (originally recorded by the Hal Kemp Orchestra in 1933) and the dramatic You Let Me Down," a regular request at Solitaire's club dates.
Throughout this project Solitaire and her musicians are not content to merely recreate the past but are creative within the style, adding to the music's legacy. While Solitaire can name a long list of influences, she does not sound exactly like any of the singers who preceded her. Nor do her sidemen sacrifice their own individuality while doing justice to the material. Instead, they all fully understand the music and are able to add their own voices to the songs while being themselves.
This delightful set not only proves that there is plenty of life still to be found in swing tunes, but it features Solitaire Miles at her very best, taking her place as one of the top swing singers around today."
~ Scott Yanow