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Saturday, December 8, 2012


JAZZ SCENE U.S.A. #11

NANCY WILSON


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1962


CBS TELEVISION CITY, LOS ANGELES, CA

Commentary © James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved

Oscar Brown promoted Nancy Wilson’s Capitol album with Cannonball Adderley, Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley (Capitol T1657), on the show and Ms. Wilson sang HAPPY TALK and NEVER WILL I MARRY from the album.  The album was a bestseller for Capitol and was one of the key elements that cemented Ms. Wilson’s credentials as a jazz artist. 

The following text and photos are from the web site devoted to this pairing of jazz artists:


One night about four years ago in Columbus, Ohio, a willowy young singer took a busman's holiday from her job as vocalist with Rusty Bryant's band to join friends for an evening at the 502 Club-a local jazz emporium where a rather remarkable, up-and-coming alto saxophone player and his swinging combo were appearing.

The girl was Nancy Wilson, and the young man with the horn was Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. Their chance meeting that night will always be well-remembered by both of them.

"Nancy did some tunes with the band that night," Cannonball reflects, "unrehearsed, off-the-top-of-the-head stuff. Even then, this young kid had so much to offer-tone, style, confidence-I felt she just had to go a long way."

Adderley's prophecy of stardom for Nancy has certainly been fulfilled since that first casual get-together just a few short years ago. For today Nancy Wilson is in every way a big-leaguer, a fast-rising young singing star who is just beginning to realize her full potential as an in-person performer as well as a top recording artist for Capitol Records.

"Cannonball has helped me so many times," Nancy remembers. "When I first came to New York, the first person I called when I got off the bus was Cannon."

In New York, Nancy pounded an office typewriter by day and sang by night, the latter in a Bronx jazz spot known as the Blue Morocco. If was here (at Cannonball's urging) that John Levy, former bassist with the famed George Shearing Quintet and now the manager of Shearing, Adderley, and many other stars of jazz, first heard Miss Wilson. One listening was the clincher, and from that evening on Levy took the new singer in tow.

This was the start of many exciting developments for the girl from Columbus, not the least of which was the enthused reaction to her singing by Capitol Records' executive producer, Dave Cavanaugh. Frankly, Cavanaugh simply flipped and signed her right away. Her albums to date have won her a throng of new friends. Critics, their tastes often jaded by an endless parade of new jazz singers, have been unanimous in their praise of Nancy's remarkable phrasing, tone, control, and dynamics.

This album reaches a new high point in the Wilson-Adderley mutual admiration society. Nancy sums it up this way:

"We've wanted to do this for months," she enthused. "But we wanted it to be spontaneous and relaxed. So we waited till the time was right for both of us. We wanted a happy, romping sound. It would be Cannonball's quintet with me fitting in as a sort of easy-going third horn on some nice songs that haven't already been 'heard to death' on records."

Cannonball on alto; Brother Nat Adderley on cornet; Louis Hayes on drums; Sam Jones on bass and Joe Zawinul on piano; that's the quintet whose wide range of jazz ideas and driving appeal reaches (as Time Magazine put it) "to the very fringe of squaredom."

And Nancy's response to their great sound is really something to hear, as she sings with a versatility compounded alternately of savagery and delicacy, displaying the remarkable voice that has already convinced the entire music world that young Nancy Wilson has, to put it mildly, "arrived."

Ren Grevatt

Nancy Wilson, vocal; Lou Levy, piano; Al McKibbon, bass; Kenny Dennis, drums.

The complete show has recently been posted to YouTube:



Production credits:
Host: Oscar Brown, Jr.
Executive Producer: Steve Allen
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Director: Steve Binder
Associate Producer: Vince Cilurzo
Associate Director: George Turpin
Technical Director: Jim Brady
Lighting Director: Leard Davis
Audio: Larry Eaton
Art Director: Robert Tyler Lee
Production Assistant: Penny Stewart
Jazz Consultant: Leonard Feather
Title Films: Grant Velie
Cameras: Bob Dunn, Ed Chaney, Gorman Erickson, Pat Kenny






















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