While I don’t believe that the esteemed Ms. O’Day ever covered Pictures of Lily (but you never know), mrs. meshbesher’s last post on the NYPL Kenn Duncan exhibit sent me back to the NYPL Digital Gallery to see if the Arthur Mitchell shot mentioned in that review is included on the site. Unfortunately it is not, but the two fab images of Anita O’Day that are up there also reminded me that the outstanding documentary on her life and art, Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer (which has been making the rounds on the festival circuit for some time) finally opened today in New York and Los Angeles to generally excellent reviews.
It being the weekend and all, I’m not up for writing a review, but if you are lucky enough to be in one of those two cities, I would urge you to see it. I caught it at the Tribeca Film Festival last year–where it truly came across as a labor of love–and would eagerly watch it again. And if someone did want my opinion, I would call it simply the best performing arts documentary since Ballets Russes (but, then again, I don’t get around much anymore). Those of us in the smaller markets can only hope it will hit the theatres in our respective towns some time in the future (or wait to order the dvd).
But, speaking of small markets, I also was reminded of a post that I had been meaning to write about a tidbit that appeared in the nearby Olympian newspaper last month promoting the online presence of the University of Idaho’s International Jazz Collections. Apparently, however, the Olympian does not “archive” all of its articles; the link is now broken. A similar story is still available here. While the IJC site does not contain “all” of that repository’s remarkable holdings, a wealth of material has been made available digitally (through the efforts of hardworking archivists), including this wonderful autographed publicity photograph of a younger Anita O’Day.
(Top) Kenn Duncan portrait of Anita O’Day. NYPL Digital Gallery ID #1752308
(Bottom) Associated Booking Corporation portrait of Anita O’Day. MG 02, Box 58, Folder 5, Leonard Feather Jazz Collection, International Jazz Collections, University of Idaho Library.