I found it odd that this album won a Grammy for best album cover I mean it is not bad but it is not great. I looked at the other nominees that year and none of them were too great either. The award in general is quite up and down. Sgt Pepper’s won in this category but so did the Black Keys for Brothers. Peggy Lee was born in 1920. Starting off in radio, she joined Benny Goodman’s Orchestra after being discovered singing in a Chicago club. After she left Goodman, she had a string of hit records. She also wrote songs as well.. She wrote a few of the numbers for Disney’s Lady and the Tramp including the Siamese Cat Song which some claim is quasi-racist. Along with acting in a few features in her heyday, she continued to perform up into the 90’s. She died in 2002 at age 81 from complications from diabetes as well as a heart attack.
This album came out in 1960. The underlying concept is taking musical standards from Broadway and interpreting them in an Afro-Cuban style, complete with congas, horns, and cha-cha-cha vocals. To this end, the album accomplishes its goal by providing interesting versions of old standards. It could have gone a bit more over the Latin edge, but this was 1960 so what can you expect. “Heart”, “I am in Love”, “Surrey with a Fringe on Top”, and “I Could have Danced All Night” stand out to me. Could have used more of the songs I like from Broadway musicals but hey what can you do? I was back and forth but decided, albeit in bad taste, to go with Oscar and Hammerstein’s ” I Enjoy Being a Girl” from the Flower Drum Song. Here is a latin interpretation of a number from an American Asian-American Musical. And I am sure a week after the fact, everyone is tired of the Caitlyn Jenner jokes so I will spare you here.
Satisfactory. Could have easily been just a straight interpretation of standards but they actually tried to change it up. Kudos to you, Ms Lee.