Actually, we had a different composition in mind, the song Stardust written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1927 with lyrics added in 1929 by Mitchell Parish. The song, “a song about a song about love“, played in an idiosyncratic melody in medium tempo, became an American standard, and with over 1,500 recordings is one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century.
I’m not sure if hyperspace is composed of the remnants of exploded stars” but presumably your ears are so feel free to download this selection recorded by the following artists: Art Tatum / Artie Shaw & His Orchestra / Benny Goodman Sextet w. Charlie Christian / Clifford Brown / Denny Dennis / Errol Garner / Frank Sinatra / Glenn Miller Orchestra / Jimmy Shirley / Joe Pass & Jimmy Rowles / Kvartet Dubravka Majnarica / Ron Carter & Jim Hall.
In temperate zones of the world, September marks the changing of the seasons, the leaves turn into non-green colours and fall to earth to become nutrients for the seeds and fruits which nourish us and hibernating mammals. and migrating birds.
For we humans, it marks summer holidays past, a welcome return for parents of their children to centres of learning, but perhaps a less than welcome return to drudgery, of surviving harsh weather and disciplinarian teachers.
Living in tropical climes means that the passing of the seasons does not have quite the same resonance. Waiting for the rains to come, or go, is it, the metronomic tic-toc of a clock rather than the finality of tic-tac-toe.
Yes, September points to the passing of the years, from childhood to dotage and a final farewell. Naturally, there are songs about the month, and one in particular is now a ‘standard’:.
‘September Song’ is based on a metaphor in Shakespeare’sSonnet 73which compares a year to a person’s life span from birth to death.
The song was composed byKurt Weill, with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, and introduced by Walter Huston in the 1938 Broadway musical production Knickerbocker Holiday. After being used in the 1950 film September Affair, the song has since been recorded by numerous singers and instrumentalists.
First though, listen to Walter Huston’s original version
WFMU has umpteen versions to listen to, far more than trawled from IndoJazzia’s archives.
The song was introduced by actress/vocalist Belle Baker in the 1926 musical Betsy with music written by the song writing team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. She was unhappy with the piece the two had written for her solo (This Funny World), and contacted old friend Irving Berlin in hopes he might have something that would suit her needs. He had, in fact, just put the finishing touches on a number dedicated as a Christmas gift to his newborn daughter, Mary Ellin. Baker liked the song, and it was inserted into the musical, much to the chagrin of Rodgers and Hart, who were not consulted and wouldn’t have allowed the change. The tune was the hit of the show, and Baker received 24 encores on opening night, December 28, 1926. Despite this, the show itself was a disaster and closed a month later.
However, a year later, in 1927, the first feature-length motion picture with sound, The Jazz Singer starring vocalist Al Jolson, had nine songs including Blue Skies. and it was a hit.
There have been hundreds of recorded versions, yet you’ll have to make do with the (just) eight found in IndoJazzia’s archives.
If you’ve been to a mall recently you’ll already know that today is Valentine’s Day. So, what better excuse to put together different versions of the well known standard My Funny Valentine?
Wikipedia has this: My Funny Valentine is a show tune from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical Babes in Arms in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. The song became a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.
In 2015 it was announced that the Gerry Mulligan quartet featuring Chet Baker’s version of the song was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for the song’s “cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s audio legacy“.
IndoJazzia has inducted the version of the song by the Gerry Mulligan quartet featuring Chet Baker, as well as Chet Baker’s version of the song on his album Chet Baker Sings into our compilation because they’re both good..As are the other dozen by, and in alphabetical order, Ben Webster & Teddy Wilson, Bill Evans & Jim Hall, Enrico Rava Quintet w. Pat Metheny, Frank Sinatra, Gary Burton, George Shearing, Lenny Breau, Mick Goodrick & Joe Diorio, Pat Metheny & Nils Landgren, Radka Toneff & Steve Dobrogosz, Shirley Horn, and Viktoria Tolstoy w. Esbjörn Svensson Trio.
To be honest, we think … nay, we know … that listening to fourteen versions of the same sentimental song is overkill. So why not download them all, choose your favourite version and sing along with one of them, either to your sweetheart or yourself.
My Funny Valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?
But don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines Day
One of Billie Holiday’s most iconic songs is Strange Fruit, a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. What you may not realise is that the song was written by a school teacher in New York, Abel Meeropol, who wrote a poem because he was ‘haunted’ by a photograph of a lynching.
This is a BBC podcast about the song which became a standard ….
The first five versions of Strange Fruit in this compilation from the IndoJazzia archives are in the order of the snippets played in the podcast. Artists: Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, Sidney Bechet, John Martyn, Nina Simone, Cassandra Wilson, Cocteau Twins, Diana Ross (who played Billie Holiday in the biopic Lady Sings The Blues), Lucia Cadotsch, Robert Wyatt, Tori Amos, Siouxie and the Banshees, Marcus Miller.
This is a 1929 song composed by Fats Waller with lyrics by Andy Razaf. It was introduced in the Off-Broadway revue Load of Coal at Connie’s Inn as a soft-shoe dance number. Waller’s 1934 recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
There are several versions in IndoJazzia’s archives which you can download from MediaFire. Featured artists are pianists Fats Waller, Count Basie, Teddy Wilson, Errol Garner, Earl Hines, Bobby Maxwell; guitarists Django Reinhardt, Svend Asmussen & Ulrik Neumann, Dick McDonough. Ken Sykora; Herb Ellis & Joe Pass; vocals by Louis Jordan, Mildred Bailey, Sarah Vaughan, Nesia Ardi, Mark Murphy; then a group of British jazzers lead by Stan Tracey.
But first, here’s the jam session in the famous 1938 Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert.
If you’ve ever wondered, this is a honeysuckle rose …
… and this is an ale I’d like to try. The sheet music is here
“One of those uniquely interpreted songs you can’t get out of your head.”
It’s a perfect fit for Billie Holiday …
… and I’ve always thought she wrote the lyrics. But I was wrong.
Willow Weep For Me was composed by Ann Ronell who dedicated it to to George Gershwin, the composer who helped her get her start in the music industry. She was notable for being one of the only composers at the time to handle both music and lyrics.
The song was introduced by vocalist and whistler Muzzy Marcellino performing with Ted Fio Rito and His Orchestra. Their October 1932 Brunswick recording entered the pop charts December 3, 1932, and rose to number seventeen.
On December 17 Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra’s Victor recording with singer Irene Taylor entered the charts and was more favourably received, rising to number two in the US charts.
Over thirty years later, in 1964, Willow Weep for Me re-emerged on the pop charts, this time by the British duo Chad and Jeremy.
But I always preferred the version by Alan Price: he sang with soul. All the other tracks have their individual jazz interpretation.
Tracks 01. Ted Fio Rito Orch. w. Muzzy Marcellino voc. 02. Paul Whiteman Orch. w. Irene Taylor voc. 03. Alan Price Set 04. Etta James 05. Sarah Vaughan 06. Julie London 07. Dexter Gordon 08. Ray Charles w. David ‘Fathead’ Newman 09. Art Tatum 10. Thelonious Monk & Milt Jackson 11. Jan Johansson & Rune Gustafsson 12. Ron Carter
Our compilation of Pre-War Stomps did not include the real classic, Stompin’ at the Savoy. This refers to the Savoy Ballroom which was located at 596 Lenox Avenue, between West 140th and 141st Streets in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.
The Savoy opened in 1926 and featured a large 10,000 square foot dance floor which began to attract the best dancers in New York. In 1927 the Savoy began sponsoring jazz band competitions. Chick Webb’s Harlem Stompers participated in the first of these cutting sessions which was called the Battle of Jazz. Over the next several years, Chick Webb and His Orchestra would become the Savoy house band and with his triumphs over the likes of the Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, and Benny Goodman bands, he would be crowned The King of the Savoy.
The soon-to-become-a jazz standard was originally composed by Edgar Sampson in 1936 while he was alto saxophonist and arranger in Chick Webb’s band. He was later hired by Benny Goodman as an arranger, and Andy Razaf, Fats Waller’s frequent lyricist, turned the instrumental hit into the song, so all four share writing credits.
Download 01.Errol Garner – Stompin’ At The Savoy(1951) 02.Chick Webb Savoy Orchestra – Stomping at the Savoy(1934) 03.Benny Goodman – Stompin’ at The Savoy(1938) 04.Charlie Christian – Stomping At The Savoy(Live in a small club 1941) 05.Remo Palmieri (w. Teddy Wilson?) – Stompin’ at the Savoy(1945) 06.Jazz At The Philharmonic – Stompin’ at the Savoy 1(1954)
The soloists are, in order, Flip Phillips, Bill Harris and Joey deFranco. 07.Jazz At The Philharmonic – Stompin’ at the Savoy 2 (1954)
The soloists are, in order, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Dizzy Gillespie and Roy Eldridge.
Both parts are from the 1954 Norman Granz Jam Sessions.
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong sing, swing, and stomp about the Savoy in 1957 …
The ballroom closed permanently in October 1958, but the music has lived on.. 08.The Three Sounds – Stompin’ at the Savoy(1961) 09.Louis Stewart – Stomping At The Savoy(1994)
Count Basie’s band, like all the other bands, did play in other venues. 10.Count Basie & His Orchestra – Swinging At The Daisy Chain (1937)
The only reference I can find to the Daisy Chain is this: Buffet flats such as Hazel Valentine’s Daisy Chain offered sexual tableaux – both hetero and homo- staged in apartment chambers. 11.Count Basie & His Orchestra – Jumpin’ At The Woodside (1937) 12.Duke Ellington & Count Basie – Jumpin’ At The Woodside (1961)
The Duke also played at the Savoy and, presumably, the Woodside Hotel in New York. 13.Branko Kralj – Jumpin’ At The Woodside (1962) 14.Albert Ammons – Boogie Woogie At The Civic Opera (1946)
Was it the Chicago Civic Opera House?
This was the ‘house band’ at the Savoy Hotel in London between 1923 and 1927. They broadcast live once a week on BBC radio.