Peggy Lee - Miss Wonderful / Dream Street-CDs-Palm Beach Bookery
Peggy Lee

Peggy Lee - Miss Wonderful / Dream Street

Regular price $23.98

Miss Wonderful / Dream Street

By   Peggy Lee

Very Good Condition

A Review:

These final Decca albums from 1956-57 have been digitally released separately and in other couplings, but this is the official Polygram twofer, without bonus tracks, preserving the original album art and beautifully mating Peggy's two collaborations with Sy Oliver (1910-88), justly famous for swinging charts for the Lunceford and Dorsey bands and important sessions with Louis Armstrong, Jo Stafford and Frank Sinatra. At Decca Peggy Lee released the seminal jazz set BLACK COFFEE (arguably her finest album ever, and a splendid introduction to her artistry), the vanity project SEA SHELLS (which pointed to her affinity for poetic song lyrics and singing-as-acting) as well as these equally indispensable albums which set the template for the even swanker concept albums she made at Capitol in 1957-72.

DREAM STREET (like its even plusher Capitol sequel PRETTY EYES, with Billy May) exerts a singularly soporific spell: lush, hypnotic and intoxicating, intellectual lounge music but sung by a great Dakota jazzist. The song choices are mostly ancient (the programme reads suspiciously like a Darlene and Jonathan Edwards silly-songs playlist) but restored to glowing new life in Peggy Lee's raptly jazz-inflected reinventions of older standards. Here is her definitive version of Harold Arlen's personal favorite "Last night when we were young" (cf. BLACK COFFEE's stunning "When the world was young") anticipating Lee's later "When the sun comes out" (from SUGAR 'N' SPICE) and her archival-Arlen treasury LOVE HELD LIGHTLY. There are additional supreme pleasures in Cole Porter's "It's all right with me" and Peggy Lee's soulmate Victor Young's "Street of dreams." (Peggy and Victor, who would leave us prematurely just five months after these sessions, had together perfected "Golden earrings" and "Johnny Guitar" among other signature songs. She believed in concept albums but not in composer tributes, apart from her archival Arlen, and there was enough material between her Decca and Capitol discographies to assemble a really authoritative Lee-Young collaborative-songwriters album, regrettably never realized during her lifetime.)

The vinyl DREAM STREET always appeared rather anonymously, with Decca coyly crediting only stellar Peggy "with orchestra," but the full credits are Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, Lou Levy, Stella Castellucci (SEA SHELLS' harpist), Larry Bunker, Nick Fatool and either Max Bennett or Buddy Clark. The dreamy charts were made by Shorty Rogers and Sy Oliver, and the set was laid down in Hollywood 5 and 7 June 1956.

MISS WONDERFUL, with those extraordinary arrangements by (fully credited) Sy Oliver, swings harder than any Peggy Lee big-band album until her consistently bouncy Capitol years. The handpicked songs are truly exotic: "We laughed at love," "Where flamingos fly," "The comeback" (only on an eclectic Peggy Lee album will you enjoy such offbeat, choice programming). Frank Loesser's "Joey Joey Joey" is in fact an opera aria and a very rare opportunity to hear Peggy Lee sing full-voice. She performed a similar quasioperatic feat at her Toronto opening in 1981 with "I loves you Porgy," not previously in her repertoire, and the effect was electrifying. Full-voice Peggy Lee could really "SCARE you," she often charmingly warned, and it was further evidence of her high-proof artistry and musical potency, captured at the peak of her hip sensibilities (and acute sensitivities) in these last Decca sessions. Both albums have been neglected in her discography even though they equal BLACK COFFEE and immediately precede her tremendously chic and cool albummaking projects during her next and greater career peak, the Capitol Tower "mink jazz" epoch.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Mr. Wonderful
  2. They Can't Take That Away From Me
  3. Where The Flamingos Fly
  4. You've Got To See Mama Every Night
  5. The Comeback
  6. Take A Little Time To Smile
  7. I Don't Know Enough About You
  8. Joey-Joey-Joey
  9. Crazy In The Heart
  10. You Oughta Be Mine
  11. We Laughed At Love
  12. That's Alright, Honey
  13. Street Of Dreams
  14. What's New
  15. You're Blase'
  16. It's Alright With Me
  17. My Old Flame
  18. Dancing Of The Ceiling
  19. It Never Entered My Mind
  20. Too Late Now
  21. I've Grown Accustomed To His Face
  22. Something I Dreamed Last Night
  23. Last Night When We Were Young
  24. So Blue

Product details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Mca Import
  • ASIN: B00000G42S

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