A documentary look at the improvised life of Anita O'Day (1919-2006), singer and stylist whose timing, phrasing, interpretations, and unique sound put her among the finest vocalists of jazz. Interviews with her late in life are interspersed with archival footage of performances and old interviews as well as with comments by friends, arrangers, critics, and other musicians. She talks about singing without a uvula (sing eighth notes), of jail time for a marijuana arrest, of taking and kicking heroin, of finally making money after appearing at the Newport Jazz Festival, of loss, of a broken arm that almost cost her life, and of living in 4/4 time, one day at a time, smiling.
30 April 2007 (USA)
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Did You Know?
The clips of Anita O'Day performing as a band singer for Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton come from "Soundies", three-minute music videos filmed during the 1940's for playback on a "Panoram", a video jukebox that projected the film onto a window-like screen. Many top musicians of the period, including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Liberace (who made his film debut on one) made "Soundies". See more
In one of the interview clips, Anita O'Day says that composer-arranger Gary McFarland died soon after the release of the album they made together, "All the Sad Young Men." McFarland actually lived another 10 years after the 1961 release of his record with O'Day, and died on November 2, 1971. See more
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