Peggy Lee had an unhappy childhood, which seems a commonplace in show-business success stories. Born Norma Deloris Egström, she lost her mother at the age of four and was raised by a cruel woman who treated her like a slave. Aged seven, Peggy was cooking meals, cleaning house, baking bread, milking cows, churning butter and doing the washing. At eight she never left the house, and when she wasn’t minding a newborn baby she suffered beatings for not doing the chores correctly. But she did have some respite: whenever possible she joined her father at work, and when he was too drunk to stand up, she did his job as well. And then Roosevelt declared war on Germany… Peggy’s previous life had given her a capacity for revolt and a strong character, just what she needed to take her to the top. Every one of these 28 titles is simply a masterpiece, and here she’s accompanied by orchestras led by Benny Goodman and Dave Barbour, and by the likes of Pete Candoli or George Shearing.
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.