The Vinyl Vault jumps into March with a collection of love songs from singer Barbara Lea and her 1958 album on Prestige entitled, “Lea in Love.” Lea was an active recording artist from 1955 to about 2007. This was her third album in a string of releases that numbered over 20 albums.

Voted Best New Singer by the readers of Downbeat magazine in 1956, Lea cultivated a style that stayed true to the written music. Eschewing scat singing, she insisted improvisation was for instrumentalists, not vocalists. But her focus on the music and lyrics yielded a precise, yet relaxed, singing style with delicate and careful enunciation.

Vinyl Vault is sponsored by Vinyl Me, Please

The song selection on “Lea in Love” is a combination of well-known jazz tunes such as “Autumn Leaves” and “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.” But the album also features more obscure chestnuts such as “Sleep Peaceful, Mr. Used-To-Be,” sung by a woman that just polished off her old boyfriend, and “Will I Find My Love Today?” Lea was known to scour piles of sheet music at record stores to find songs overlooked by others that she could bring into the light of day.

The accompaniment is first-rate throughout with several different permutations of musicians mixing and matching on different cuts. Dick Cary arranged most of the tunes and he also played piano and alto sax. The Jimmy Lyon Trio backed Lea on several tracks. For the most part, traditional jazz instruments supported the singing, but a few exotics show up occasionally including oboe, bassoon, and harp.

Tune in on Tuesday, March 1, at 8:30 pm and check out the Vinyl Vault with Geoff Anderson and another disc courtesy of Vinyl Me Please.  Only on KUVO JAZZ.

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