In a nice way, Miss Ida Blue is a strong-willed person. Definite rather than ambivalent. And it comes through in her singing, with this 1938 song a particularly fine example.
I’M GONNA LOCK MY HEART is firmly associated with Billie Holiday in her early golden period, and Billie made the song multi-layered. The message of the lyrics is, if taken seriously, rather bleak: my heart has been broken and so I am never falling in love again. But the song itself is curiously jaunty, in the best pop tradition: I will sing about my woes in a swinging way, because you and I really know that this is only a song.
I am delighted to have this video — thanks to the diligent generosity of Rae Ann Berry, the crowned Queen of West Coast Hot Jazz Video. She recorded it on June 27, 2015, at the 25th Annual America’s Classic Jazz Festival in Lacey, Washington.
Miss Ida is accompanied by that spectacular hot band, the Yerba Buena Stompers: Kevin Dorn, drums, Clint Baker, tuba; John Gill, banjo; Conal Fowkes, piano; Orange Kellin, clarinet; Tom Bartlett, trombone; Leon Oakley, cornet; Jon-Erik Kellso (subbing for Duke Heitger), trumpet:
And Miss Ida’s deep love for Billie Holiday is nothing new, as you can read https://jazzlives.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/havin-herself-a-time-miss-ida-triumphs-joes-pub-may-15-2015/ — my frankly ecstatic report on her May 15 gig at Joe’s Pub. Ida’s evocation of Billie is not a matter of learned gestures; Ida sounds like Ida, and we are terribly glad about that. She has never locked her heart, and that quality of openness comes through in every note.
May your happiness increase!