Ernestine Anderson Swings The Penthouse
With the recent passing of the wonderful singer, Ernestine Anderson, the release in 2015 of "Ernestine Anderson Swings The Penthouse" should not be overlooked. This live performance comes from a 1962 Seattle performance long before Carl Jefferson added her to his Concord Records artist roster when Ray Brown had been championing her. Of course when this was recorded she had already worked with Johnny Otis, toured with Lionel Hampton, recorded with Gigi Gryce and recorded an album in Scandinavia that was licensed to Mercury. She was at the first Monterey Jazz Festival, named DownBeat's New Star Jazz Singer and recorded other albums for Mercury.
Of course her early career is overshadowed by her later day career in terms of the quantity of her recordings. But here, backed by a sterling trio of pianist Dick Palombi, bassist Chuck Metcalf and drummer Bill Richardson, she brings a vibrancy to a number of standards with her own swinging delivery, impeccable phrasing and vocal dynamics making for terrific renditions of such timeless classics as "You Make Me Feel So You," "On Green Dolphin Street," Little Girl Blue," "Just in Time," "This Can't Be Love," "There Will Never Be Another You," and "Honeysuckle Rose." There is no poor tracks here as she is completely in control of the material and the trio swings hard backing her.
Ernestine Anderson certainly swung The Penthouse back when this is recorded, but the music is still fresh and vibrant and this is a wonderful addition to her recorded legacy.
I purchased this. This review originally appeared in the July-August 2016 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 367). Here she is in Europe in 1967 singing Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'."