I’ve been way behind the curve on this one ~ only recently discovering the amazing voice of Nancy LaMott who tragically died of uterine cancer in 1995 at the age of 43.
Remembered as one of the most brilliant interpreters of the Great American Songbook from her generation, LaMott had a difficult life plagued by illness and other issues. It appears she was loved and adored by anyone who heard her sing or came into personal contact with her. After listening to several of her CDs, I can see (or in this case, hear) why.
Like Eva Cassidy, another special voice, LaMott was gone before the full blessings of her voice and style could mark the world. For jazz and standards fans, seeking out LaMott’s work is very much worth the effort.
TO CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL NANCY LAMOTT WEBSITE CLICK HERE
FOR THOSE UNFAMILIAR WITH LAMOTT, I'D SUGGEST STARTING WITH HER CD COME RAIN OR COME SHINE. IT WAS MY INTRODUCTION TO HER VOICE AND I WAS BLOWN AWAY.
FOR THOSE FAMILIAR WITH LAMOTT HERE'S A NEWS OF A NEW CD FROM HER WEBSITE:After Nancy’s death in 1995, many radio DJ’s across the country kept her music alive by playing cuts from her CD’s. But one DJ, Jonathan Schwartz, had access to a special private collection of unreleased recordings that Nancy had given him copies of as gifts. Over the years, Jonathan would regularly play these recordings, and every time he did we would get calls asking, “Which CD is that on? How do I get a copy of that song?” Of course, they weren’t on any CD, so we had a lot of frustrated fans on our hands.
Several years ago we set out to rectify that problem by putting together this compilation. Because these songs were recorded in many disparate venues, most with just a live piano, on all different kinds of equipment of varying quality, live in concert, live on the radio, and in small studios in Atlantic City and New York, the challenge was to get them all to play evenly so they could be listened to on one CD without losing the dynamic range that was the trademark of Nancy’s live performances.
We have tried, in every case, to leave the songs as they were originally sung, so with the exception of raising and lowering volumes and a few small nips and tucks, all these performances are untouched. The result is an intimate, natural look at these songs just as Nancy sang them. No frills, no tricks, just Nancy.
SAMUEL CHELL @ ALL ABOUT JAZZ ON ASK ME AGAIN:
Nancy LaMott's story is the stuff of Hollywood melodrama—and a lesson about time. When she died on December 13, 1995 from uterine cancer preceded by years of battling Crohn's disease followed by an ileostomy, she left behind a scant but distinguished discography of six precious CDs. Even those became unavailable when, after a marriage hastily assembled during the last 45 minutes of her life, litigation ensuing from estate squabbles led to suppression of her recordings for almost ten years. In 2005 a complete, ninth-inning live performance was released (At Tavern on the Green, Midder Music), and in February of 2008 this collection of LaMott performances culled from various sources and venues, ranging from radio programs to a show at the World Trade Center, joined a contemporaneously issued DVD and has enjoyed the widest reception of any LaMott recording to date.
The temptation to pass this one up is admittedly great. An assortment of radio broadcasts and performances recorded under less than optimal musical or technical circumstances, along with the inclusion of "Moondance" and "The Wind Beneath My Wings," might discourage even a LaMott completist. But hers is a unique talent never ceasing to surprise and delight in deeply moving ways. From the very first track the voice is simply stunning, all the more so for being so nakedly exposed. Sinatra and Nelson Riddle, Tony Bennett and Bill Evans, Mabel Mercer and Bobby Short, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Gerald Moore—Nancy LaMott and pianist Christopher Marlowe: the messenger and the message are uncluttered and unplugged, the communication forever present and alive, the language of emotion as direct and pure as it gets.
FOR THE FULL REVIEW CLICK HERE