Moanin' (Featured APD Showcase Track)
Tiny Irvin's delivery of this song demonstrates her deep blues feeling, jazz phrasing and scat technique. Tiny, a jazz singer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was accompanied on this tune, by Pittsburgh piano legend and harmony master Carl Arter, with Mike Taylor on upright bass and Ron Tucker on drums.

Tiny's singing, though heavily influenced by Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn, was in a class all her own. In her late teens during the 1960's, she left town to sing in Dizzy Gillespie's band, but quit the road in about a year when a love affair with a musician ended badly.

Tiny, whose mercurial personality not many bandleaders could handle, met her match in the elder bandleader Carl Arter, a taskmaster who appreciated her talent and nurtured it. Earwig CEO Michael Frank used to return to his home town on holidays, from his Chicago base, and visit Eileen's Zebra Room where Carl and Tiny gigged most weekends. World renowned jazz musicians, many of whom hailed from Pittsburgh, including Stanley Turrentine, (who took harmony lessons from Carl Arter), Billy Eckstine and Joe Williams, could be seen in the audience after their gigs at local concert halls.

Having started Earwig Music Company in 1978 as a blues label, Frank felt instantly the rich talents of these musicians and got the urge to record Tiny and Carl. In 1981 he did just that, making Tiny's sole recording, and one of only three of Arter's career, all on Earwig Music.

In 1983 when Dizzy Gillespie came to Chicago, Michael met him and told Dizzy about the session. Dizzy simply remarked "That girl can sure sing."

Musicians on "Moanin'"

Tiny Irvin - vocals
Carl Arter - piano
Mike Taylor - upright bass
Ron Tucker - drums