THE GREAT SONGS FROM THE COTTON CLUB
BY HAROLD ARLEN AND TED KOEHLER
“Maxine Sullivan was in a class by herself. Sullivan gave her all to a song, and in so doing made the song a celebration of the best in classic American popular music rather than an occasion to show off her vocal prowess. It is one of her best albums, and should be heard by all.” – Lawrence Schulman, ARSC Journal
Back in print for the first time in more than a decade, Harbinger Records’ award-winning album, MAXINE SULLIVAN: THE GREAT SONGS FROM THE COTTON CLUB BY HAROLD ARLEN AND TED KOEHLER is making it’s long-awaited debut on iTunes and other music download sites. Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocalist and winner of the NAIRD award in the same category, the album features many previously unrecorded songs by the famous songwriting team of Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. In addition to the first-time recordings, Sullivan interprets such standards as “Stormy Weather” and “Buds Won’t Bud” with her patented gently swinging style.
Hailed on many 10 Best lists, Great Songs from the Cotton Club, brought Maxine Sullivan’s 50-year career to a highpoint and led the way to two more highly regarded recordings for Harbinger, Together: Maxine Sullivan Sings Jule Styne and The Lady’s in Love with You: Maxine Sullivan Sings the Music of Burton Lane.
Maxine Sullivan got her start at a remarkably named nightclub, The Benjamin Harrison Literary Club, in 1934. She sang with Claude Thornhill’s band and had a smash hit with her recording of the Scottish standard, “Loch Lomond.” In the ‘40s, she and her husband, jazz musician John Kirby, became the first black jazz stars to have a regular radio program. She appeared in the films St. Louis Blues and Going Places, the latter in which she and Louis Armstrong introduced the song “Jeepers Creepers.” She and Armstrong had a long friendship and appeared together in the fabled Cotton Club and on Broadway in the musical Swinging the Dream in which Maxine introduced the jazz standard, “Darn That Dream.” She later appeared on Broadway in the show My Old Friends for which she received a Tony Award nomination.
After retiring to raise her children, Maxine created The House That Jazz Built in the South Bronx where she supported programs encouraging young talent and introducing children to the world of jazz. In 1967 she returned to recordings with jazzman Bob Wilbur. Her three albums for Harbinger Records came soon thereafter giving new audiences a chance to hear one of the greatest jazz singers of all time.
This long-awaited reissue brings this tremendous album to her legion of fans and to a new generation who can rejoice in the great vocals and great songs of the Cotton Club era.
1. Happy As the Day Is Long
2. You Gave Me Ev’rything but Love
3. As Long As I Live
4. Raisin’ the Rent
5. ‘Neath the Pale Cuban Moon
6. Ill Wind (1934)
7. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
8. I Love a Parade
9. Harlem Holiday
10. Get Yourself a New Broom
11. Stormy Weather
12. In the Silence of the Night
13. That’s What I Hate About Love
14. Primitive Prima Donna
15. I’ve Got the World on a String
Artist: Maxine Sullivan
Songwriters: Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler