Pages

Monday, 29 August 2011

If You Could See Me Now

Music by Tadd Dameron 1946
Lyrics by Carl Sigman 1946



Sonny Stitt: alto saxophone
Jimmy Nottingham: trumpet
Ernie Royal: trumpet
J.J. Johnson: trombone
Anthony Ortega: flute, alto saxophone
Sheldon Powell: tenor saxophone
Cecil Payne: baritone saxophone
Hank Jones: piano
Freddie Green: guitar
Oscar Pettiford: bass
Jo Jones: drums

If You Could See Me Now was originally written by Tadd Dameron and Carl Sigman for "The Divine One" Sarah Vaughan but I think it still conveys the sense of heartbreak just as powerfully when performed as an instrumental piece. I am not sure if the opening four line verse is part of the original lyric, but I think it fits perfectly with the sentiment of the song, and I have included it anyway.

We had some words and parted,
The feelings were intense,
Now in the calm of the blue day after,
Did it all make sense?

If you could see me now you'd know how blue I've been,
One look is all you'd need to see the mood I'm in,
Perhaps then you'd realize I'm still in love with you,

If you could see me now you'd find me being brave,
And trying awfully hard to make my tears behave,
But that's quite impossible I'm still in love with you,

You happen my way on some memorable day,
And the month will be May for a while,
I'll try to smile but cannot play the part,
Without my heart behind the smile,

The way I feel for you I never could disguise,
The look of love is written plainly in my eyes,
I think you'd be mine again if you could see me now,

You happen my way on some memorable day,
And the month will be May for a while,
I'll try to smile but cannot play the part,
Without my heart behind the smile,

The way I feel for you I never could disguise,
The look of love is written plainly in my eyes,
I think you'd be mine again if you could see me now...

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Little Jazz Bird

Music By George Gershwin 1924
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin 1924



Blossom Dearie: vocals, piano
Kenny Burrell: guitar
Ed Thigpen: drums
Ray Brown: double bass

I've only come across this song recently but it's quickly become part of my regular listening rotation. Blossom Dearie's girlish voice matches the cuteness of the lyrics perfectly. Little Jazz Bird first appeared back in 1924 as part of Lady Be Good which was the Gershwin brothers first Broadway musical.


Into a cabaret,
One fatal day,
A little songbird flew,

Found it so very gay,
He thought he'd stay,
Just to get a bird's eye view,

When he heard the jazz band playing,
He was happy as a lark,
To each measure he kept swaying,
And he stayed 'til after dark,

Then back to the land he knew,
Thrilled through and through,
He sailed on in the air,

Called all the other birds,
And in these words,
Started gurgling then and there,

I'm a little jazz bird,
And I'm telling you to be one too,
For a little jazz bird,
Is in heaven when it's singing blue,

I say it with regret,
But you're out of date,
You ain't heard nothing yet,
'Til you syncopate,

When the going is rough,
You will find your troubles all have flown,
If you warble your stuff,
Like the moaning of a saxophone,

Just try my recipe,
And I'm sure you'll agree,
That a little jazz bird,
Is the only kind of bird to be,

I say it with regret,
But you're out of date,
You ain't heard nothing yet,
'Til you syncopate,

When the going is rough,
You will find your troubles all have flown,
If you warble your stuff,
Like the moaning of a saxophone,

Just try my recipe,
And I'm sure you'll agree,
That a little jazz bird,
Is the only kind of bird to be...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Sidney's Soliloquy

By Jimmy Wisner



Mel Torme: vocals
Garry Long: piano
Perry Lind: bass
Benny Barth: drums

A wonderfully melancholy performance of  Sidney's Soliloquy by Mel Torme and the Benny Barth Trio. This song seems to be one of the less performed jazz songs I've heard, but I think it deserves a lot more recognition. The Sidney referred to in the song is Sid Mark, a radio presenter in Philadelpia who has hosted the "Sounds Of Sinatra" show for over 50 years. This recording dates back to the 2nd of May 1964 and was for Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual TV show.

Listen to,
Sidney's soliloquy,
The most folornful mournful melody you've heard,

If you're blue,
Sample it's remedy,
It takes away the blues and leaves you with a sigh,

Long ago when love was new,
And the love affair was swinging,
It was all that you could do,
To suppress an urge for singing,
Now that love is through,
And your heart beats out of meter,
Don't let yourself become a bore and a drag,

Who can tell,
Maybe this little song,
Will be the panacea that you're looking for,

If you're blue,
Sidney's soliloquy,
Will take away the blues and leave you with a sigh,

Fly away,
Leave your troubles for another day,
And share with me,
Soliloquy,
A song for Sidney...

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Goodbye

By Gordon Jenkins 1935




Cannonball Adderley: alto saxophone
Bill Evans: piano
Percy Heath: bass
Connie Kay: drums


Goodbye is one of the saddest songs out there in the jazz world, and jazz is known for having many blue standards. Goodbye was even rejected by the Isham Jones band for being too sad! The song later became well known as the closing theme for Benny Goodman's radio broadcasts. One of my melancholy favourites.

I'll never forget you, (though I try and I try)
I'll never forget you, (this is our last goodbye)
I'll never forget how we promised one day,
To love one another forever that way,
We said we'd never say, (we believed it would last forever)
Goodbye, (when you are young, love is that way)

But that was long ago,
Now you've forgotten I know,
No use to wonder why,
Let's say farwell with a sigh,
Let love die,

But we'll go on living, (how does love go astray?)
Our own way of living, (how does love slip away?)
So you'll take the high road and I'll take the low,
It's time that we parted,
It's much better so,
But kiss me as you go, (and if you ever get too lonely,)
Goodbye, (keep me in mind, keep me in mind)
Goodbye...

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Moonlight In Vermont

Music by Karl Suessdorf 1943
Lyrics by John Blackburn 1943



Bob Ferreira: drums/vocals
Greg Stegeman: trumpet/bass/vocals
Kevin Stout: trombone/vocals
Brian Eichenberger: guitar/piano/vocals

Moonlight in Vermont is notable for having lyrics that don't rhyme, and the lyrics are written in the form of a haiku (three phrases with 5, 7 and 5 syllables) with the exception of the bridge section. Moonlight in Vermont is truly deserving of it's place in the Great American Songbook and as a jazz standard, having been covered many times by different artists, and is considered to be the unofficial state song of Vermont, and often played at Vermont wedding receptions. With it's descriptive lyrics, you could almost imagine the song as a watercolour painting of the landscape of Vermont.

Pennies in a stream,
Falling leaves a sycamore,
Moonlight in Vermont,

Icy finger waves,
Ski trails on a mountain side,
Snowlight in Vermont,

Telegraph cables,
How they sing down the highway,
As they travel each bend in the road,
People who meet in this romantic setting,
They’re so hypnotized by the lovely,

Evening summer breeze,
Warblings of the meadowlark,
Moonlight in Vermont...

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Here's That Rainy Day

Music by Jimmy Van Heusen 1953
Lyrics by Johnny Burke 1953




Freddie Hubbard: flugelhorn
George Benson: guitar
Ron Carter: bass

Here's that rainy day originally appeared in the 1953 Broadway musical Carnival in Flanders.  Although the musical was a flop and only ran for six performances, Here's that rainy day has been a jazz musicians favourite ever since.

This is one of my favourite songs when my day does seem to be a deeper shade of gray and blue than usual.  Although it's a blue song, it never fails to cheer me up.

Maybe I should have saved those leftover dreams,
Funny, but here's that rainy day,
Here's that rainy day they told me about,
And I laughed at the thought that,
It might turn out this way,

Where is that worn out wish that I threw aside,
After it brought my lover near,
Funny how love becomes a cold rainy day,
Funny, that rainy day is here,

Where is that worn out wish that I threw aside,
After it brought my lover near,
Funny how love becomes a cold rainy day,
Funny, that rainy day is here...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...