A blog about the things I find accidentally on Spotify while looking for something else

Monday, 21 July 2014

40 Classic Tracks - Lee Wiley

Lee Wiley was a jazz singer during the '30s and '40s who achieved reasonable success before sinking into obscurity, then getting rescued from obscurity several times during her lifetime, before sinking into a deeper obscurity following her death so profound she now only has 432 followers on Spotify.  To put that in perspective, Ella Fitzgerald has 174,819.
   Wiley was Cole Porter's favourite interpreter of his work, most likely because she pretty much sung the notes he wrote.  This is a different approach to the Great American Songbook that we're now used to, with the singer doing little to get in the way of the song as opposed to vomiting themselves all over it..  It's easy to forget that such an expressive singer as Billie Holiday was an exception to the rule at the time she has come to embody.  Lee Wiley was the rule, but she was one of the best at it.
   Although at first she may seem too reserved, the way her voice allows melodies to songs such as 'Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere' (co-written by Wiley), 'I've Got a Crush on You' and 'It's Only a Paper Moon' to glide on air can be exquisite.
   Ultimately, Wiley is a Rich Tea jazz biscuit and not a Fox's Crunch Cream, but sometimes that's all you want.