Monday, March 08, 2004


Wrapping up last week's jazz/vocalese sextravaganza, meet Ms. Annie Ross.

Annie was brought up onstage. She performed with her parents in a family vaudeville stageshow in the 1930's which led to her being cast in a Little Rascal's two reeler at the age of eight, belting out Loch Lomond. This experience cemented the two constants in her life: film and music.

Ross has been working pretty much continuously since then: dozens of stage plays; more than twenty albums alongside (among many others) Wardell Gray, Zoot Sims, Quincy Jones and Louis Armstrong; and over fifteen films, notably a major part in Robert Altman's "Short Cuts".

Time has been better to Annie than to our previous vocalese-ists; she's still recording and touring and is well recognized internationally.

Where Pleasure is polished brass and Jefferson is rough percussion, Ross is the silver woodwind of the group: staccato, sweet and loopy.

Here's some of the very best of the very distinctive, very talented Annie Ross.


Annie Ross - "Farmer's Market"

Annie's rendition of this track by Art Farmer is noteworthy for its energy, zaniness and tongue-twisting lyrics (penned by Ross).

I got a weak spot for bean songs. Maybe I'll do a "bean music" post with "Beans" Hambone, Louis Jordan and Brak later on.

"hey... let me say... i... am not the guy... who's supposed to sell the beans..."

Annie's Bio courtesy of the LA Jazz Society.
Excellent recent in-depth interview with Ross
Includes dish on how she landed a recurring role in the Basket Case series!
A tribute page for Ross and fellow bandmates Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks


Annie Ross - "This Is Always"

A classic Hollywood standard from the 1946 musical "Three Little Girls in Blue".

Ross vamps it up all smokey and slinky. This makes me want to drink wine and look wistfully at the ceiling.

Great sax accompaniment by Gerry Mulligan.

This track is from an import only album: Annie Ross Sings a Song of Mulligan, which runs about forty or fifty bucks new.
Get a used copy from Amazon.
It's still over twenty bucks, tho.
Annie Ross is Cool For Kids


Annie Ross - "Twisted"

Probably Annie's biggest hit, "Twisted" (circa '52) was covered by Joni Mitchell and Bette Midler and is heard over the opening of Woody Allen's film Deconstructing Harry.

The music is Wardell Gray, the spectacular lyrics by Ross.

Both the writing and the flow reminds me of Marshall Mathers.

Crazy hip coolio, daddy.

This track and "Farmer's Market" can be found on the previously mentioned King Pleasure/Annie Ross Sings available for purchase from Amazon.
You know you want it.
Sing along.
The inevitable Fresh Air interview


Seven more from the Daily Music Fix:

Burned By the Sun is an EXCELLENT hipster resource, filled with neat pop culture, music tidbits and a weekly selection of downloadable mp3s. Karen's taste is hardly consistent but always good.

CURRENTHOTSHIT: If the Big Mama Thornton rendition of "Hound Dog" isn't part of your Monday routine, do like Patrick Stewart says and make it so. Go cop that.
I'm new to The Catbird Seat, but they found me a copy of Sufjan Stevens' "Sister" so's I likes em. Catbird doesn't seem to host; they compile tracks from other sites, mostly indy pop and rock.
Whoops. I've just had it pointed out to me that an eagle-eyed DL'er would notice the Cerebus feets clicky on the lower right at the site. Go check it out; I know I will.

CURRENTHOTSHIT: Did I mention they had Sufjan Stevens?
I got turned on to the song poem phenomena the way most people are; by John Trubee's A Blind Man's Penis, which was a short hopskipandajump to The American Song Poem Archives. Chock fulla nuts.

CURRENTHOTSHIT: LOADS of mp3s to choose from; why not start with Gene Marshall's "We Are the Men Counting Sheep"? Kooky.
Totally Fuzzy is the other tofu in the genepool. They're also compilers, mostly pop.

CURRENTHOTSHIT: DJ Green Lantern's "2 Gunz Up" is pretty necessary.
Pop Nose is part of the freakytrigger universe. Content is multinational, genre-blind, audacious and fascinating. Tom is also willing to post something just to take the piss, which is refreshing; it's nice to dl music you know will be bad just to explore a little.

CURRENTHOTSHIT: Avoid the "Snot Rap" frontliner; it really IS lousy.
Instead, pick up Lassigue Bendthaus' "Jealous Guy", a John Lennon cover via Massive Attack.
The Mystical Beast is about the best thought out and most articulate musicblog out there. Esoteric in the extreme, always interesting and diverse as hell. Sad rumour has it that Mystical may shut down later this year; join the effort to talk him out of it.

CURRENTHOTSHIT: Check the PM Dawn post for "Downtown Venus", some trippydippyhiphop.
The Rub has been asleep for quite some time now. But I'm keepin' the faith.

CURRENTHOTSHIT: Afraid it's all gone cold over there. Again: Keepin' the faith.


All you Monday morning desk jockeys might wanna skip down a bit and check out the weekend Mix CD review. Lots of embedded music and some funny commentary from Gardner make it a rollicking good time. Or so I've been told.
Dave Chapelle's cracking my shit up. The 'Now In Real Life' routine ("SPAMbustas, bitch!") and the Lil' Jon routine are hysterical.

"Skeet skeet skeet! What's cool about 'skeet' is that white people don't know what it means yet!" At least not the censors, clearly. Heh.
I may have to buy this if only for the "crazy in love" cover.
Spent much of the weekend futzing about with my unruly computer, as I found myself shut out from internet use. After I couldn't find a way to override an address hijacker (and yes, I've tried Spybot and Adaware and Scandisk and VirusProtector and the goddamn thing won't fix... why do I keep getting sent here {link is unclickable, just there for the address}? I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with a windows upgrade I foolishly downloaded), I went about installing some much overdue virus and firewall programs, cleaning up my hard drive and finally chucking IE in favor of Mozilla.

Even though Mo didn't transfer over my "Favorites" files, I've been very pleased with it. It's much more multi-faceted than IE ever was (if a bit slower to load and more of a memory hog) and the more I learn the more I like. Any longtime users of Mozilla have suggestions as to how better optimize use of the program?

In other late-breaking news, I'm a massive nerd.