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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 anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.