Consilience Productions
CD Picks

Maxine Sullivan
(b. 5/13/11 - Homstead, PA    d. 4/7/87 - New York, NY)

Title: Loch Lomand
Personnel: Maxine Sullivan (vocals), John Kirby (b), various others...
Recorded: 1937-1942
Label: Living Era
Comments: The critics at Metronome magazine received Maxine's first records warmly, giving the discs good ratings and reviews. Around the same time Maxine became the vocalist at The Onyx Club in New York. It was here that she formed both a music and personal partnership with bass-man John Kirby who she soon married. Kirby had worked with Fletcher Henderson in the early 1930’s as well as Henry Red Allen. A busy man in 1937, the stellar bassist recorded with Teddy Wilson, Willie The Lion Smith, Frankie Newton, Midge Williams, Charlie Barnet, and Lionel Hampton all prior to the first records he made with Maxine on August 6th, 1937 which also saw accompaniment from Thornhill on piano. Sullivan and Kirby remained married until 1941.

Title: Close As Pages in a Book
Personnel: Maxine Sullivan (vocals), Bob Wilber (leader, soprano sax & clarinet), Bernie Leighton (piano), George Duvivier (bass) and Gus Johnson (drums).
Recorded: 1969
Label: Audiophile
Comments: After a period off the music scene during which she worked as a nurse and raised her daugter, Maxine (who had not recorded a full album since 1956) really started her successful comeback with this strong effort. Originally made for Monmouth-Evergreen and later reissued on Audiophile, she performs remakes of "Loch Lomond" and "Gone With the Wind" and also sings ten high-quality swing-era tunes, including most memorably "As Long as I Live," "Darn That Dream" and "Close as Pages in a Book." At 58, Maxine (who was still in her musical prime) shows that she still had a long way to go.
Title: Live at Vine Street
Personnel: Maxine Sullivan (vocals), Gerald Wiggins (piano), Herman Riley (tenor sax), Red Callender (bass), Paul Humphrey (drums).
Recorded: 1986
Label: DRG
Comments: Recorded just a year before her death, this live set mostly finds Maxine still in fine form. She includes seven Johnny Mercer lyrics among the dozen selections, mostly avoiding her usual songs. The best are "I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby," "Jeepers Creepers" and "Cheatin' On Me."

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