The Guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 January 2007
In the period from the 1930s to the 1950s when jazz was pop
music, singers were to play a bigger part in the genre than
any other time. A few were effectively jazz improvisers
instrument happened to be the voice - like Billie Holiday,
Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan, with Louis
Armstrong the father figure of the movement.
Many more performed as deliverers of catchy songs, from
which a band might end up with a hit or a signature tune.
Martha Tilton, whose most high-profile exposure came with
Benny Goodman's orchestra, was one of the latter, but if she
was (she) also ran in jazz vocal history, she was a skilful
who often did far more with a song than was apparent to
Liltin' Miss Tilton, who has died aged 91, was no mere
canary, hired to trill perfunctorily and look fetching