Sunday, February 11, 2007
Lady, Be Good!
I'm a big fan of jazz guitarist and vocalist John Pizzarelli, and so had to follow a seemingly random thread several months ago when a Bananaslug search turned up a link indicating that Pizzarelli had played uke on a recording George and Ira Gershwin's Little Jazz Bird. It turned out to be a sweet find.
Pizzarelli's performance appears on a restored studio recording of the Gershwin musical, Lady, Be Good! The original 1924 production starred Fred and Adele Astaire, and featured none other than our old pal, Cliff Edwards.
This was the show that introduced the legendary Gershwin tunes Oh, Lady Be Good and Fascinatin' Rhythm, the latter of which was performed in the show by Cliff, who also sang Little Jazz Bird (along with Insufficient Sweetie, It's All the Same to Me, and one of my personal favorites, Who Takes Care of the Caretaker's Daughter.)
On the studio recording, Pizzarelli backs himself on baritone ukulele while he croons, and it's a terrific recording. I highly recommend the CD: if you love Gershwin, you'll love this production. In addition to JP, it features Lara Teeter, Ann Morrison, Michael Maguire, and (yes) Jason Alexander. Plus one of my favorites from previous PHC days, Ivy Austin.
I've poked around and have been unsuccessful in finding a recording of Cliffie singing Little Jazz Bird. If you know of one, please drop me a line.