Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How High the Moon

June Christy (vocals), Nat King Cole (piano), Mel Tormé (drums)

In the 1950s, when this was televised, music alone was able to transcend segregation. Here we have a black man (Cole), a Jew (Tormé – born with the surname Torma) and a white woman (Christy, who was Anita O’Day’s replacement in the Stan Kenton Orchestra) uniting in joyous music making. Many fans of Cole and Tormé in the latter part of their careers are not aware that Cole was a superb pianist, nor that Tormé played drums; they both gave up their respective instruments and later worked exclusively as vocalists.

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