You're in for a treat. Since my post two days ago on singer-songwriter and pianist Bobby Troup, I've been bombarded by emails from readerssome who are long-time fans of Troup and others who are new to him. All of those email writers also said they were fans of singer Julie London, who was married to Troup.
By any measure, London was special. In someways, her recordings don't really do her justice. As the following video clip demonstrates, London really had to be heard and seen to be fully appreciated. The only other singer I can think of who is this much fun to watch on camera is Nancy Wilson. Both London and Nancy knew how to work their feline features and hourglass figures gingerly to punctuate a song's lyrics in the most sophisticated and seductive way. As singers, they were the new modelslike cars with fins or homes made largely of glass. There was a visual quality about them in addition to their royal voicesa sense of how to work a camera with finesse and win over audiences.
Here's Julie London and Bobby Troup appearing on a Japanese TV special from May 28, 1964 called The Julie London Show. They are joined on stage at different points by trumpeter Joe Burnett, guitarist Dennis Budimir, bassist Don Bagley and drummer Dee Barton. There's also a big band back there.
Just be sure you're sitting down for the 48-minute show. The performances by both singers are exceptional. Watch carefully what London does with her eyes and how she cocks her head or tilts it back to sell a song, not to mention that pearl necklace of a voice. London also never oversells a song. Instead, she coolly operates in the most minimalist stylebreathy and smart. Like Nancy, mesmerizingyet untouchable...
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.