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Peggy Lee|Black Coffee

Black Coffee

Peggy Lee

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Peggy Lee left Capitol in 1952 for, among several other reasons, the label's refusal to let her record and release an exotic, tumultuous version of "Lover." Lee was certainly no Mitch Miller songbird, content to loosen her gorgeous pipes on any piece of tripe foisted upon her; she was a superb songwriter with a knowledge of production and arrangement gained from work in big bands and from her husband, Dave Barbour (although the two weren't together at the time). The more open-minded Decca acquiesced to her demand, and watched its investment pay off quickly when the single became her biggest hit in years. Black Coffee was Lee's next major project. Encouraged by longtime Decca A&R Milt Gabler, she hired a small group including trumpeter Pete Candoli and pianist Jimmy Rowles (two of her favorite sidemen) to record an after-hours jazz project similar in intent and execution to Lee Wiley's "Manhattan project" of 1950, Night in Manhattan. While the title-track opener of Black Coffee soon separated itself from the LP -- to be taught forever after during the first period of any Torch Song 101 class -- the album doesn't keep to its concept very long; Lee is soon enough in a bouncy mood for "I've Got You Under My Skin" and very affectionate on "Easy Living." (If there's a concept at work here, it's the vagaries of love.) Listeners should look instead to "It Ain't Necessarily So" or "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You?" for more examples of Lee's quintessentially slow-burn sultriness. Aside from occasionally straying off-concept, however, Black Coffee is an excellent record, spotlighting Lee's ability to shine with every type of group and in any context. [When originally recorded and released in 1953, Black Coffee was an eight-song catalog of 78s. Three years later, Decca commissioned an LP expansion of the record, for which Lee recorded several more songs. The 2004 Verve edition is therefore a reissue of the 1956 12-song LP.]
© John Bush /TiVo

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Black Coffee

Peggy Lee

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1
Black Coffee (Single Version)
Peggy Lee
00:03:06

Ed Shaughnessy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Francis Webster, ComposerLyricist - SONNY BURKE, ComposerLyricist - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - JIMMY ROWLES, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Cy Godfrey, Producer - Max Wayne, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Cootie Chesterfield, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1953 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music Group International

2
I've Got You Under My Skin (Single Version)
Peggy Lee
00:02:29

Ed Shaughnessy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Cole Porter, ComposerLyricist - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - JIMMY ROWLES, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Cy Godfrey, Producer - Max Wayne, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Candoli Pete, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1953 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Easy Living (Album Version)
Peggy Lee
00:02:42

Leo Robin, ComposerLyricist - Ralph Rainger, ComposerLyricist - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Cy Godfrey, Producer

℗ 1953 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Single Version)
Peggy Lee
00:02:06

Cole Porter, ComposerLyricist - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Cy Godfrey, Producer

℗ 1953 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
It Ain't Necessarily So (Album Version)
00:03:23

George Gershwin, ComposerLyricist - Ira Gershwin, ComposerLyricist - Dubose Heyward, ComposerLyricist - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Cy Godfrey, Producer

℗ 1953 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Gee Baby (Ain't I Good To You) (Album Version)
Peggy Lee
00:03:22

Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Don Redman, ComposerLyricist - Cy Godfrey, Producer - Andriamanantena Paul Razafinkarefo, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1953 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
A Woman Alone With The Blues (Album Version)
Peggy Lee
00:03:13

Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Willard Robinson, ComposerLyricist - Cy Godfrey, Producer

℗ 1953 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Album Version)
Peggy Lee
00:02:17

Richard Rodgers, Composer - Lorenz Hart, Author - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Cy Godfrey, Producer

℗ 1953 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
When The World Was Young (Album Version)
Peggy Lee
00:03:18

Johnny Mercer, Author - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Cy Godfrey, Producer - Gérard Philipe, Composer

℗ 1953 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Love Me Or Leave Me (Album Version)
Peggy Lee
00:02:06

Walter Donaldson, Composer - Gus Kahn, Author - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Cy Godfrey, Producer

℗ 1953 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music Austria

11
You're My Thrill (Album Version)
Peggy Lee
00:03:22

Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Jay Gorney, Composer - Sidney Clare, Author - Sy Oliver & His Orchestra, Orchestra

℗ 1956 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
There's A Small Hotel (Album Version)
Peggy Lee
00:02:47

Richard Rodgers, Composer - Lorenz Hart, Author - Peggy Lee, MainArtist - Cy Godfrey, Producer

℗ 1953 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

Peggy Lee left Capitol in 1952 for, among several other reasons, the label's refusal to let her record and release an exotic, tumultuous version of "Lover." Lee was certainly no Mitch Miller songbird, content to loosen her gorgeous pipes on any piece of tripe foisted upon her; she was a superb songwriter with a knowledge of production and arrangement gained from work in big bands and from her husband, Dave Barbour (although the two weren't together at the time). The more open-minded Decca acquiesced to her demand, and watched its investment pay off quickly when the single became her biggest hit in years. Black Coffee was Lee's next major project. Encouraged by longtime Decca A&R Milt Gabler, she hired a small group including trumpeter Pete Candoli and pianist Jimmy Rowles (two of her favorite sidemen) to record an after-hours jazz project similar in intent and execution to Lee Wiley's "Manhattan project" of 1950, Night in Manhattan. While the title-track opener of Black Coffee soon separated itself from the LP -- to be taught forever after during the first period of any Torch Song 101 class -- the album doesn't keep to its concept very long; Lee is soon enough in a bouncy mood for "I've Got You Under My Skin" and very affectionate on "Easy Living." (If there's a concept at work here, it's the vagaries of love.) Listeners should look instead to "It Ain't Necessarily So" or "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You?" for more examples of Lee's quintessentially slow-burn sultriness. Aside from occasionally straying off-concept, however, Black Coffee is an excellent record, spotlighting Lee's ability to shine with every type of group and in any context. [When originally recorded and released in 1953, Black Coffee was an eight-song catalog of 78s. Three years later, Decca commissioned an LP expansion of the record, for which Lee recorded several more songs. The 2004 Verve edition is therefore a reissue of the 1956 12-song LP.]
© John Bush /TiVo

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