- Released: May 3, 2004
- Label: Asv Living Era
- 1.Takes Two To Tango
- 2.Tess's Torch Song
- 3.He Didn't Ask Me
- 4.St. Louis Blues
- 6.Fifteen Years (I'm Still Serving Time)
- 7.I Ain't Talkin' Though It's All Over town
- 9.Legalize My Name
- 10.It's A Woman's Prerogative
- 11.Row, Row, Row
- 12.Little Learnin' Is A Dangerous Thing, Part 1, A - (with Frank Sinatra)
- 13.I'm Lazy That's All
- 15.Ma, He's Makin' Eyes At Me
- 16.Baby, It's Cold Outside - (with Hot Lips Page)
- 17.Ain't She Sweet - (with Hot Lips Page)
- 18.Johnson Rag
- 19.Saturday Night Fish Fry - (with Moms Mabley)
- 20.Vagabond Shoes
- 21.Nothin', Nothin' Baby Without You
- 22.Let There Be Love
- 23.As Long As I Live
- 24.Me And My Shadow
- 25.She's Something Spanish
Personnel: Don Redman, Frank Sinatra, Hot Lips Page, Moms Mabley, The Charioteers (vocals); Tommy Moore , Hy White, George Barnes, Art Ryerson, Remo Palmieri, Tony Mottola, Barry Galbraith, Carl Lynch, Carl Kress, Carmen Mastren (guitar); Bernard Kaufman, Bill Stegmeyer (clarinet, alto saxophone); Johnny Mince, Peanuts Hucko (clarinet); Wolfie Tannenbaum, Dick Jacobs, George Dorsey, Hymie Schertzer, Milt Yaner, Charlie Holmes (alto saxophone); Bud Johnson (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Lee Pope, Bill Holcombe, Art Drelinger, Leroy Taylor, Nuncio "Toots" Mondello (tenor saxophone); Eddie de Verteuill, Stan Webb (baritone saxophone); Red Solomon, Emmett Berry, Money Johnson, George Treadwell, Taft Jordan, Billy Butterfield, Charlie Shavers (trumpet); George Stevenson , Edward Burke , Al Grey, Tyree Glenn, Will Bradley, Bobby Byrne (trombone); Lloyd Phillips , Ray Tunia, Herman Chittison, Ludwig Flato, Bob Kitsis, Benny Payne, Billy Kyle , Bud Powell (piano); Sid Weiss, Felix Giobbe, Bob Elden , Herman Alpert, George Duvivier, Carlton Powell, Trigger Alpert, Bob Haggart (double bass); Irving Kluger, Vess Payne, Jimmy Crawford , Morey Feld, Specs Powell, Terry Snyder, Johnny Blowers (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Simon Haram.
Liner Note Author: Peter Dempsey.
Recording information: New York, NY (01/06/1944-09/??/1953).
Outspokenness and the art of the clever aside are essential components of the African-American performance tradition. Bessie Smith, Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon, Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller each developed a distinctive manner of talking over the music as if to dispel the sort of pretensions that so often cluttered up conventional mainstream pop music. Pearl Bailey grew directly from this fine and candid tradition; she brought her own blend of classic African-American verism to the record-buying and theater-attending public during the 1940s, '50s and '60s. With Takes Two to Tango, Living Era examines the first nine years of Pearlie Mae's recording career, beginning with "Tess' Torch Song," recorded with Cootie Williams and his orchestra on January 6, 1944 and subsequently released on the Hit record label. Present in this dynamic ensemble were Cleanhead Vinson and Lockjaw Davis, as well as young pianist and musical genius Bud Powell. Out of her many Columbia recordings made with a band led by Mitchell Ayres, "Tired" and "I Ain't Talkin' (Though It's All Over Town)" stand out as two of her all-time greatest recorded performances. This invigorating compilation, which also includes Pearl Bailey's duets with Frank Sinatra, Hot Lips Page, and Moms Mabley, closes with "Vagabond Shoes," a rare example of her work with young Gil Evans in 1950 and several examples of this singer's magnificent collaborations with the great Don Redman and his orchestra. Her 1952 Coral recording of "Takes Two to Tango" should really be heard back to back with Lester Young's bizarre vocal rendition of the same tune. ~ arwulf arwulf