It's been a long weekend. On Friday I neglected to post anything because I got a little distracted researching Okeh records. Interesting, but I don't feel like writing about it. I forgot to mention that last Tuesday I went to Smoke for the first time. I like it. Not at all what I was expecting. I was with two friends sitting in the back corner with a bottle of wine. The place is cozy and very small. I'll have to write a post all about this venue at some point. It's got some history.
This weekend I saw an early evening cabaret. I had not intended to go and was invited last minute to the Metropolitan Room. I'm so glad that happened! The name of the singer was Suzanne Fiore and she performed with percussion, piano, and bass. Everyone was incredible. The music director was the pianist and some of the music transitions were so seamless and beautifully written I actually gasped. Suzanne has a very expressive face and a lovely voice with a Joni Mitchell quality about it. I absolutely loved the room and the show. The whole thing was uplifting and inspiring.
Now that I am inspired again I'm researching Marion Harris who is considered to be the first female Jazz singer ever recorded. She was a white jazz and blues singer that supposedly sang so well people sometimes thought she was colored. This obviously only happened through recording because the tiny blonde seemed to be the epitome of a flapper.
She started singing around 1910 and was brought to New York by a Broadway producer to star in the show "Stop! Look! Listen!" She did many films through the 20's and moved to London in the 30's where she performed cabarets and radio shows.
It's time for what is now my favorite thing to learn about Jazz artists. How they died. Marion returned to the United States after her house was destroyed in World War II. This amazing woman with an incredible career covering all spectrums died in her Marquise Hotel bed from burns. She had fallen asleep with a lit cigarette in her mouth.
Yep. I'm going to be that freak that knows how everyone died. I don't know why that fascinates me so much. Maybe I should have pursued a career as a mortician.