Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Catherine Russell: Strictly Romancin'

"Blues and jazz singer Catherine Russell says she frequently listens to the radio while washing dishes. One night, she was by the sink listening to a Chick Webb compilation when Ella Fitzgerald's 'Under the Spell of the Blues' came on. The song struck her. 'The lyric came on, and it was just a beautiful story, and then I [was] compelled to learn the tune, and then I learned about everything surrounding it,' she says. The result is now one of 14 songs on Russell's fourth solo album, Strictly Romancin'. ... Russell grew up on these tunes, in addition to a mix of rock, blues and classical arrangements. 'My mother had a radio in the kitchen when I was growing up, and we used to listen to William B. Williams Make Believe Ballroom on WNEW-AM,' she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "So every morning, I was listening to Ella, the Mills Brothers, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee. Everything that was popular of the day and before that. ... That really formed my appreciation of phrasing, of how the people sang these tunes in those days.' Russell's household was always filled with music. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was Louis Armstrong's musical director from 1935 to 1943" ("Catherine Russell," NPR Music, 2/21/12).

View catalog record here!


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