[Dixielandjazz] Cleo Laine story

briantowers briantowers at msn.com
Tue Feb 4 00:31:37 PST 2003


A lovely tale!     I am moved to dig out my old Cleo vinyls too.     A very beautiful lady, even now, in her old age (75?) still with the same charisma and charm and that incredible four octave voice range.
While she is of the modern jazz school, she is quite capable of belting out a classic from the twenties, such as "Give Me A Pig Foot", with all the zest and raunchiness of Bessie Smith.
One of the great musical combinations and husband/wife partnerships of recent times must be John Dankworth and Cleo Laine.  I believe the family runs workshops/courses (or used to) for jazz at their country home in Wavendon, England.   One of her sons went to Berklee in Boston, according to her autobiography, where he learnt to play jazz string bass.  Was he there during your time?

Brian Towers

>Ok, my two cents worth.

>I met Cleo Laine when she handed my that very expensive music degree at my Berklee College of Music graduation in 1982. Upon shaking her >hand I said, "Oh Cleo what a thrill, I'll never wash this hand again." At which she replied, without missing a beat, "Nor me!"

>Charming and talented, I've always been awestruck by her talents. I'm digging around the old vinyl tonight looking for those dusty old albums.

>I've recently enjoyed her Ellington CD. Terrific.

>David Story
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