11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In her lifetime Eartha Kitt was one hell of a vivacious performer, as this live 1965 recording from The Plaza hotel in New York City attests. Accompanied by a small but tight jazz ensemble, Ms. Kitt foregoes her usual seductive stage banter for a more humorous set peppered with witty and poetic intros — but she still manages to let loose with some of that sultry vavoom that kept the cocktail generation on its toes. The sound quality is pristine. Everything is so crystal clear that by the opening notes of the playful "Sell Me!" you may feel transported back in time and craving near-extinct elixirs like Side Cars and Sapphire Martinis. "I Wanna Be Evil!" and spoken bits like "The Touch" ooze the same kind of sinister attraction that she gave to the character of Catwoman on the third season of the Batman television series. Her Japanese phrasing in "C'mon a My House" is beyond impressive, but it's her signature tune "C'est Si Bon!" (replete with that iconic feline throat purring) that shines brightest here. Her hilariously oddball version of "Rumania, Rumania" is an outstanding way to end a bubbly and spirited performance. Eartha Kitt was much more than a lounge act. She was a natural born star.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In her lifetime Eartha Kitt was one hell of a vivacious performer, as this live 1965 recording from The Plaza hotel in New York City attests. Accompanied by a small but tight jazz ensemble, Ms. Kitt foregoes her usual seductive stage banter for a more humorous set peppered with witty and poetic intros — but she still manages to let loose with some of that sultry vavoom that kept the cocktail generation on its toes. The sound quality is pristine. Everything is so crystal clear that by the opening notes of the playful "Sell Me!" you may feel transported back in time and craving near-extinct elixirs like Side Cars and Sapphire Martinis. "I Wanna Be Evil!" and spoken bits like "The Touch" ooze the same kind of sinister attraction that she gave to the character of Catwoman on the third season of the Batman television series. Her Japanese phrasing in "C'mon a My House" is beyond impressive, but it's her signature tune "C'est Si Bon!" (replete with that iconic feline throat purring) that shines brightest here. Her hilariously oddball version of "Rumania, Rumania" is an outstanding way to end a bubbly and spirited performance. Eartha Kitt was much more than a lounge act. She was a natural born star.

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