Song:Lady Sings The Blues
Album:Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959) to Billie with Love From Dee Dee Bridgewater
Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater started out in jazz in the 70s and took a detour to musical theater and won a Tony. She rediscovered jazz when she moved to Europe in the 80s and then returned to the US in the 90s when she signed with Verve Records. She has been very successful with tribute albums to Horace Silver, Ella Fitzgerald and this 2010 tribute to Billie Holiday. She was born Denise Garrett May 27, 1950 in Memphis and grew up in Flint, MI. Her dad Matthew Garrett played trumpet and taught at a local high school. As a teen, Dee Dee sang in local clubs and toured the Soviet Union in 1969 as part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign jazz band. She married trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater in 1970 and they moved to New York City. Cecil was in Horace Silver's band and Dee Dee was vocalist for The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. She recorded her debut album Afro Blue in 1974. Then she played Glinda The Good Witch in the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz. Dee Dee won a Tony for Best Featured actress and a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. This led to a record deal with Elektra Records and three late 70s disco albums. Dee Dee moved to France in the 80s and performed in the musicals Sophisticated Ladies and Lady Day. She returned to the US in 1989 and signed with Verve Records in 1992. The 1995 album Love and Peace: A Tribute To Horace Silver earned her a Grammy nomination and she won two Grammys for the 1998 album Dear Ella. Dee Dee started her own label DDB Records run by her oldest daughter Tulani Bridgewater. She is also Dee Dee's manager. They signed with EmArcy Records and Eleanora Fagan was released in 2010. Dee Dee won a Best Jazz Vocal Grammy. Pianist Edsel Gomez is the arranger. Other musicians are James Carter on sax, Christian McBride on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. Dee Dee's latest CD Midnight Sun was released in 2011. Here is Dee Dee Bridgewater with James Carter on sax, Edsel Gomez on piano, Kenny Davis on bass and Lewis Nash on drums performing Lady Sings The Blues at the 2010 North Sea Jazz Festival in The Netherlands.