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on 11 April 2009
This 4-albums-in-two-cds package was one of the best buys in my life...
I got it on UK amazon for the price smaller than the price of ANY of these single albums!

Starting with "Anita sings the most", I can say that it's no wonder that album is often mentioned as one of the best in Anita O'Day's rich and long career; working beautifully with Oscar Peterson classic trio (Herb Ellis-g, Ray Brown-b) plus John Pool on drums, Anita is equally impressive in slower tempos and in her trademark neck-breaking hyper-swinging elloquence...

One of the strength's of this magnificent singer is a strong individuality, ability to make every song a part of her hip and sometimes even sarcastic worldview... Although at first her style might remind you of Ella Fitzgerald, the liberties she takes with tempo and rhythm actually make her closer to Billie Holiday or Betty Carter, the mood she projects with her timbre makes her a distant cousin of Carmen McRae but, make no mistake, she is Anita O'Day, the one and only... With the nifty and versatile fingers of Oscar and the crew behind her, this album shouldn't have gone wrong and I feel it fullfiled its magnificent potential.
The second album "The Lady is a Tramp" is more commercially oriented; with some jazz tracks but also with very straightforward (dull) "Vaya con Dios" and quite insulting "Rock 'N' Blues" (that is, insulting to this jazz fan who couldn't believe to what lowsy use Anita and Roy Eldridge were put). That album (second part of the first CDs) has three arrangers (Ralph Burns and Roy Kral both of whom also play the piano on their respective tracks, and Larry Russell), even more musicians line-ups and no concept; it's quite anti-climactic after "Anita Sings the Most"...

However, the second CD is first class Anita all the way. The first brilliant album "An Evening with Anita O'Day" shows her working beautiful with one compact trio and two equally effective quartets, the format she often excelled in (although in the beginning of her carreer she was best known as an unorthodox big band singer):
- Arnold Ross-p, Barney Kessel-g, Monty Budwig-b, Jackie Mills-dm
- Bud Lavin-p, M. Budwig-b, John Poole-dm
- Jimmie Rowles-p, Tal Farlow-g, Leroy Vinnegar-b, Larry Bunker-dm.
She's magnificent on that album, at times ironic (Anita's Blues), at times creative beyond words ("The Man I love"), at times simply brilliant ("Frankie and Johnny", "I didn't know what time it was", "I cover the waterfront"...)...

The fourth and final album (simply called "Anita"), arranged by Buddy Bregman, presents Anita with only a slightly less swinging, but still nice company, with larger orchestra including nice brass (4 trombones - Milt Bernhart, Lloyd Ulyate,Joe Howard, Si Zentner) and, thankfully, quite unobtrusive and tastily arranged strings, plus Corky Hale on harp...
On this album Paul Smith plays piano and celeste, there are also Barney Kessel-g,Joe Mondragon-b, Alvin Stoller-dm
Starting with Cole Porter's "You're the top" (with slightly updated lyrics), Anita works through some well known songs ("Honeysuckle Rose", "A Nightingal Sang in Berkeley Square"...), giving them lovely, although not always equaly chance taking treatment ....

I've read somewhere that Anita thought Norman Granz was pushing Ella Fitzgerald too much; if it's true (and it seems to be), it's a pitty since she is Ella's equal (if not superior), but some claim that Anita's demanding character and serious drug habit prevented her from getting some gigs that Ella landed and professionally handled...
Nevertheless, Anita has still left us a nice recorded legacy as well and this edition brings us three (out of four) albums that must be near or at the peak of that legacy...
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on 21 June 2017
Excellent.
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on 18 September 2013
Really liked this Anita O'Day album although some songs were a bit tedious. She really has a feel for Jazz.
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on 16 January 2010
Chances are you know Anita O Day well if you read this review. So in that case, I think you ought to buy this double CD. It is great value for money. If you don't know her I think you should give this music a chance. Anita O Day is a great vocalist and there is some great music on these CD's.
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on 23 November 2010
Firstly if you're hesitating over purchasing this album, DON'T! just buy it. It really is a no brainer at this price, this was my first purhase of O'day's material, as others have said its a great introduction to her talents.

Four great albums....well 'The Lady Is A Tramp' album maybe not up to par with the rest IMO; as stated by another reviewer-Nikica Gilic with whom I do agree mostly. Its not pure jazz but still listenable the track 'Love for Sale' one of the highlights.

The other three albums are great, I listen to this compilation alot, there's a real mixture, fast tempos- especially on 'Anita Sings The Most' fantastic album. From this wonderful album personal highs include; 'Love me or leave me' and 'Them there eyes' pure class, then slower numbers such as the smooth, almost haunting 'Tenderly' which for me is my favourite song on this comp, the brilliant 'Stella by starlight' being another gem.

I could go on there's so much to choose from here, even if you only like one of the albums; though I can't see how, you're still getting a real bargain.

Some people accused her of ripping off the likes of Billie and Ella, which I don't agree, she holds her own, whilst she admired Billie Holiday, inspired by even, whats wrong with that many great artists if not all are influenced by others. She has her own distinct 'sassy' sound, which seduced me anyway!

My review might be a bit messy, all over the place, my apologies! Others on here probably put it better haha. Anyway let your own ears persuade you!

I did write a review some months back now, but for some reason, technical glinches on amazon error prevented its submission, got round to writing it again as I think its worthy of it.
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on 21 June 2009
Well, I like a lot Frank Sinatra's way of singing and finding these excellent recordings allowed me to meet his alter ego among female vocalists. Anita O'Day phrasing is very intelligent and one remains under the spell of her delivery throughout this sensational presentation of her talent. Highly recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 November 2010
One reviewer has already done a very detailed review of the content of this package to which little can be added. Her fans will know she served her apprenticeship singing with bands fronted by Gene Krupa (2yr & another 1yr), Stan Kenton (1 yr) and another short stint with Woody Herman. If you like her husky-voiced swinging style, or want an introduction to her singing, this collection is as good a place to start as any. Most of the tracks are up-tempo with a small jazz combo backing. Almost all of the tracks here are standards, so they're too numerous to list. Overall, 47 good tracks, well sung and arranged.
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on 28 December 2010
This is a true bargain. Two full CD's of 'The Jezebel of Jazz' singing timeless songs in her own instantly recognisable way. Each CD is well over 70 minutes. How can you go wrong for this price?
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on 10 July 2012
In my book Anita O'Day has always been one of the very best jazz singers. These 2 CD's contain 4 albums, all recorded in the 50'es, and there is no doubt that "Anita sings the most" with Oscar Peterson's Quartet is the best, and, for instance, "We'll be together again" and "Stella by starlight" are just beautiful versions.
On "Anita O'Day - the lady is a tramp" she joins forces with her old jazz buddy from Gene Krupa's Big Band, Roy Eldridge, and even though "Vaya con Dios" cannot be termed as a jazz tune, her version is sweeter and with greater feeling than the famous hit with Les Paul/Mary Ford from 1953.
On "An evening with Anita O'Day" and "Anita" she is primarily accompanied by small groups, and here is a "smorgaasbord" of beloved standards. All served with her dynamic and rhythmic talents and cool sexy voice.
A must buy for Anita fans.
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on 27 May 2013
I first heard this lady on the radio and thought I would like to hear some more of her work. I was not disappointed with the set and it was very good value for as well. Will be buying some more of her albums
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