(Jazz) Ernestine Anderson (1928-2016)

On March 10, 2016, one of my favorite jazz and blues singers passed on to other realms. Ernestine Anderson’s smoky, contralto tones soothed listener’s ears and bodies the world over. Fortunately for us, she recorded more than 30 albums. Her personal performances spanned an impressive array of venues from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to the Hollywood Bowl and jazz festivals all over the world, including six appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Ernestine was born in Houston, Texas on November 11, 1928.  She grew up in a family that was immersed in gospel, big band, jazz and the blues. The family moved to Seattle, Washington in 1944 when she was sixteen. Two years later, when she graduated from high school, Ernestine left Seattle to tour with the Johnny Otis band and, in 1952; she toured with the Lionel Hampton orchestra. During the sixties, rock music took over the airways, and jazz, along with most other genres, receded in public interest. Traveling to Europe to advance her career, her first album, Hot Cargo (1958), was released in the U. S. from Sweden.

In 1976, after spending the sixties in Europe, Ernestine signed with Concord Records following a well-received appearance at the Concord Jazz Festival. This span of seventeen years at Concord, where she recorded nearly 20 albums, launched Ernestine into the top-tier of jazz and blues performers. She left Concord in 1993. In the late 1990s, Ernestine signed with Koch label where she recorded my favorite album, Isn’t It Romantic with the outstanding Metropole Jazz Orchestra.*

During her far-ranging career, Ernestine Anderson collaborated with many great jazz and blues artists including the multi-talented Quincy Jones, an American record producer, conductor, arranger, composer and musician.

The first two selections of this collection feature Ernestine singing the same song, Skylark, in two different styles - an informal setting with jazz combo and a more formal concert rendition with large orchestra. I believe she was equally effective in both. See what you think.


*The Metropole Orkest (Orchestra) is a multiple Grammy winning jazz and pop orchestra based in the Netherlands, and is the largest full-time ensemble of its kind in the world. A hybrid orchestra, it is a combination of jazz big band and symphony orchestra.

Background information obtained from Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Composer/Selection Artist Timing
1. Carmichael & Mercer: Skylark Carmichael & Mercer: Skylark 7:00
2. Carmichael & Mercer: "Skylark" E. Anderson, vocal / Netherlands Metropole Orchestra 5:08
3. Coots & Gillespie: "You Go to My Head" E. Anderson, vocal / Rolf Ericcson & American Stars 3:21
4. Gershwin, G. & I.: "Our Love Is Here to Stay" E. Anderson, vocal / Harry Arnold & His Orchestra 3:03
5. Coward: "Mad About the Boy" E. Anderson, vocal / Harry Arnold & His Orchestra 3:22
6. Porter: "Love for Sale" E. Anderson, vocal / Harry Arnold & His Orchestra 2:11
7. Duke: "Autumn in New York" E. Anderson, vocal / Harry Arnold & His Orchestra 3:25
8. Yvain & Pollock: "My Man" E. Anderson, vocal / Harry Arnold & His Orchestra 2:38
9. Rodgers & Hart: "Little Girl Blue" E. Anderson, vocal / Harry Arnold & His Orchestra 3:15
10. McHugh & Fields: "On the Sunny Side of the Street" E. Anderson, vocal / G. Shearing with Jazz Rhythm Sectio 3:14
11. Shearing & Forster: "Lullaby of Birdland" E. Anderson, vocal / G. Shearing, piano with Jazz Rhythm Section 3:55
12. Green & Heyman, et al: "Body & Soul" E. Anderson, vocal / G. Shearing, piano 4:43
13. Styne & Cahn: "Time after Time" E. Anderson, vocal / Jazz Trio 5:17
14. Gershwin & Heyward: "Summertime" E. Anderson, vocal / Jazz Quartet 4:37
15.Weill & Gershwin, I.: "My Ship" E. Anderson, vocal / Netherlands Metropole Orchestra 6:55
16. Rodgers & Hart: "Isn’t It Romantic" E. Anderson, vocal / Netherlands Metropole Orchestra 3:32
17. Rodgers & Hart: "I Could Write a Book" E. Anderson, vocal / Netherlands Metropole Orchestra 3:50
18. Young & Washington: "My Foolish Heart" E. Anderson, vocal / Netherlands Metropole Orchestra 4:41
19. Rodgers & Hart: "Spring is Here" E. Anderson, vocal / Netherlands Metropole Orchestra 5:17
20. Rodgers & Hammerstein II: "Falling in Love" E. Anderson, vocal / Jazz Combo 4:54
21. Coots & Lewis: "For All We Know" E. Anderson, vocal / Jazz Combo 7:15


Please allow a few moments for each of the songs to begin playing. This time may vary depending on your internet connection.