Songs and related Episodes

(14) Jazz is alive Hello Dolly  
 
(Japanese version)@translated by Yoshie Kishida


Dolly Baker(1922- )

 
Dolly Baker hates "rehearsing." She doesn't like to plan something in detail before a stage with an accompanist. She regards that "improvisation "is the most important thing to play jazz.

In another word, "Jazz is alive." She can't sing in her own way without the musicians that can keep up with her. I believe there are many players in Japan to be accepted also in the United States, but how about vocalists?

Dead songs never taste good like rotten sashimi, of course. I'd like to listen to and sing the fresh and living songs. "Hello Dolly" is the opening song for Dolly. Such like this;

"Hello is my first name, the second name is Dolly."

You know, "Hello Dolly" performed by Satchmo had a great hit.


Dolly has been in Japan for more than thirty years, but she doesn't speak Japanese at all. Maybe it's because people talk to her only in English. Norio Maeda, the leading person as a pianist and an arranger at the same time, doesn't like to accompany singers on the piano, but he likes to play for Dolly. That's why he can swing himself on the stage with her. I guess he can't stand to play the piano for the singers to sing only dead songs.

Dolly released a great CD "We 3+Dolly Baker" (Denon) with Norio Maeda, Yasuo Arakawa and Takeshi Inomata in 1998. The former CD "All Waves" (Sony Record) had a hit to sell more than 45,000. It's amazing to sell chic jazz CDs more than 40 thousand in Japan, but that damned record company canceled making it!! Even though, she had a seventy-seventh birthday party in 1999; a special one in Japan called "kijyu."

Dolly's new album "King of Jazz" iColumbia) has been released in May, 1999. She performed with Norio Maeda again.


(15) Dolly's Episode about Sinatra 



Frank Sinatra in 1943

Dolly told me this story on way back from the jazz festival held in Yugawara three months later after Sinatra passed away.

In 1943 during the World War II, Sinatra was on the stage at Copa Cabana in NY He was drinking behind the bar counter alone. Dolly wanted to talk to him, but she was too young to do so. She ordered a drink to a bartender:

"The same one as him for me."

Frank looked up and said to the bartender:
"Give her a kid's drink."



Dolly Baker in early days
Dolly must have been so pretty. As you see the pictures below, her smiling face never changes!!


(16) Singer's Mental Attitude 
Dolly told me that she never has any foods or alcohol three hours before stages. Of course she never smokes. Maybe these are the reasons why she can continue to be a wonderful singer even though she is seventy-eight years old and has been wounded all over her body to have an operation to put a pacemaker in summer in 1998.

After that she said like this:
"Even if I die, my heart is still alive!!"


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