The Great American Songbook

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mourningstar
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Post by mourningstar » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:27 pm

Never heard of Lena horne's. but i heard the Louis armstrong & ella fitzgerald. I heard it when i visit my family in the USA. my uncle has this old vinyl player with alot of american song book songs. he is a die hard fan.

ohyeah I love the chemistry of Louis armstrong and Ella fitzgerald. My favourite song would be Isn't this a lovely day closely followed by Let's call the whole thing off
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:32 pm

mourningstar wrote:Never heard of Lena horne's. but i heard the Louis armstrong & ella fitzgerald. I heard it when i visit my family in the USA. my uncle has this old vinyl player with alot of american song book songs. he is a die hard fan.
Hey! You have family here? Whereabouts?
ohyeah I love the chemistry of Louis armstrong and Ella fitzgerald. My favourite song would be Isn't this a lovely day closely followed by Let's call the whole thing off
Amen! I love their Isn't this a lovely day.
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mourningstar
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Post by mourningstar » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:34 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
mourningstar wrote:Never heard of Lena horne's. but i heard the Louis armstrong & ella fitzgerald. I heard it when i visit my family in the USA. my uncle has this old vinyl player with alot of american song book songs. he is a die hard fan.
Hey! You have family here? Whereabouts?
ohyeah I love the chemistry of Louis armstrong and Ella fitzgerald. My favourite song would be Isn't this a lovely day closely followed by Let's call the whole thing off
Amen! I love their Isn't this a lovely day.
Hey! You have family here? Whereabouts?
California, Newport. i have been there twice. it's nice.

:)
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

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Post by Haydnseek » Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:11 pm

If you want to hear a great jazz instrumental arrangement of Summertime listen to the bluesy, soulful version by Gene Harris Quartet on the live album "Its the Real Soul" - it's imaginative and surprising.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:15 pm

Cripes! I forgot Linda Ronstadt in my list of singers of the Songbook.
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Madame
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Post by Madame » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:53 am

Haydnseek wrote:Maybe the term "Great American Songbook" needs to be defined. Usually, it refers to the songs written from roughly about 1920 to 1950. Kern, Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, Arlen, Duke, Warren, Rodgers – that sort of thing. It does seem to have been a distinct era of songwriting, viewed in retrospect.
AND Hoagy Carmichael -- can still see Bobby Darin doing "Up a Lazy River".

"Stardust" is one of the most recorded songs of all time.

Nobody could touch "Georgia on my Mind" like Ray Charles!

And this brings me to Norah Jones, who covered "The Nearness of You". If this young lady would cut loose with some of the standards, she'd make the top songbook list in a heartbeat.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:13 pm

Madame wrote: "Stardust" is one of the most recorded songs of all time.
I have admired that song for decades - it's got the most perfectly poetical lyrics, with no silly repetitions, or forced imagery, and a good singer makes them seamless, like he just thought them up.

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadow of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart

You wandered down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now a stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely nights dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you

When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
And now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside the garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
Of paradise where roses grew

Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of love's refrain

And this brings me to Norah Jones, who covered "The Nearness of You". If this young lady would cut loose with some of the standards, she'd make the top songbook list in a heartbeat.
I have heard her often on Frank's Place on XM Radio. She's good I'll agree. But she has a lot of stiff competition at the top.
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mourningstar
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Post by mourningstar » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:28 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Madame wrote: "Stardust" is one of the most recorded songs of all time.
I have admired that song for decades - it's got the most perfectly poetical lyrics, with no silly repetitions, or forced imagery, and a good singer makes them seamless, like he just thought them up.

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadow of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart

You wandered down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now a stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely nights dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you

When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
And now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside the garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
Of paradise where roses grew

Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of love's refrain

And this brings me to Norah Jones, who covered "The Nearness of You". If this young lady would cut loose with some of the standards, she'd make the top songbook list in a heartbeat.
I have heard her often on Frank's Place on XM Radio. She's good I'll agree. But she has a lot of stiff competition at the top.
I love stardust. The level of songwriting is a great deal. I love the version of "Nat "king" Cole"

How about "Night and day" from the cole porter songbook? Give me the version of Frank Sinatra anytime.
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Post by Madame » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:51 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Madame wrote: "Stardust" is one of the most recorded songs of all time.
I have admired that song for decades - it's got the most perfectly poetical lyrics, with no silly repetitions, or forced imagery, and a good singer makes them seamless, like he just thought them up.

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadow of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart

You wandered down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now a stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely nights dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you

When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
And now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside the garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
Of paradise where roses grew

Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of love's refrain

And therefore, Willie Nelson is included in my list of American songbook singers -- his "Stardust" album can calm the storm like no other

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Post by Madame » Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:22 pm

We'll never know for sure ... but I can't help but wonder if Bobby Darin had lived ... where he would rank among the male singers. I've been gathering up DVD's of his performances, and I had forgotten just how amazing he was. I think his stage presence, body language, and connection with his audience surpassed that of Sinatra. On his "Aces Back to Back" show he did a duet with Pet Clark "All I Have To Do Is Dream" -- honestly, I almost forgot to breathe, tears poured down my face.

remembering ....

You'll never know
Just how much I miss you
You'll never know
Just how much I care.

And if I tried
I still couldn't hide my love for you
You ought to know
For haven't I told you so
A million or more times.

You went away
And my heart went with you
I speak your name
In my ev'ry prayer.

If there is some other way
To prove that I love you
I swear I don't know how
You'll never know
If you don't know now.

<sigh>

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Post by Reed » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:25 pm

Thanks, Corlyss, for mentioning Stardust, one of my three favorite songs (the others are Lush Life and Night and Day). Although I like some songs from the rock era, my preferences lie more and more with the Great American Songbook. Dieties include the holy trinity of Nat, Frank and Ella.

If I had to mention another favorite female singer, however, I'd go for Peggy Lee, who had a large output in a variety of styles, and wrote some songs that became standards herself, such as I Love Being Here with You and Gone Fishin' (with the Duke, who famously said, "If I'm the Duke, Peggy is the Queen.")

Peter Richmond's recent biography of her is interesting, but I wish there'd been more on the music itself. I want to feel I'm in the studio when the great singers are recording their masterworks, or on stage with them. In that regard, the best book of the genre I've read is Sinatra Sessions by Charles Granta. He goes to old tapes of sessions and interviews surviving musicians to give you the feel of being there, from the early Columbia days to the end of his career.

I guess gossip and scandal books sell more. But I'd love a book that focused on Peggy, Nat, Ella and other great singers as recording and performing artists. I really don't care who they slept with or what substances they ingested.

Another singer I don't think has been mentioned on this thread is June Christy. Maybe not the best voice of the lot, but her material was A+, especially the stuff like Something Cool (album and song) arranged by Pete Rugulo.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:07 am

http://www.parabrisas.com/index.php

A primo resource for big bands, singer, etc.
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Post by RebLem » Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:42 pm

pizza wrote:I'll take Billie Holiday any day!
Ditto.
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Post by Haydnseek » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:38 am

Quiz:

Which well-known singer worked as a translator at the United Nations before her singing career took off?
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:52 pm

Another quiz:

Which song from the Songbook describes a deja vu experience?
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Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:15 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Another quiz:

Which song from the Songbook describes a deja vu experience?
"Where or When" by Rogers and Hart

When you're awake, the things you think
Come from the dream you dream
Thought has wings, and lots of things
Are seldom what they seem
Sometimes you think you've lived before
All that you live to day
Things you do come back to you
As though they knew the way
Oh the tricks your mind can play

It seems we stood and talked like this, before
We looked at each other in the same way then
But I can't remember where or when

The clothes you're wearing are the clothes, you wore
The smile you are smiling you were smiling then
But I can't remember where or when

Some things that happened for the first time
Seem to be happening again
And so it seems that we have met before
And laughed before, and loved before
But who knows where or when
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:19 pm

Right you are, Haydn! :D
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Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:12 pm

"Where or When" is one of my most favorite songs. I'll be humming it for days now.

Benny Goodman used to have his trio and quartet perform a set between the Band's. Rob Bamberger, host of "Hot Jazz Saturday Night," once played an aircheck of the trio performing "Where or When" in some ballroom. You could hear the audience, the women in particular, begin to sing along and Goodman immediately shifted his performance to accompany the audience. It gave me shivers to travel back in time to that romantic evening in the late 1930's.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:19 pm

Haydnseek wrote:"Where or When" is one of my most favorite songs. I'll be humming it for days now.

Benny Goodman used to have his trio and quartet perform a set between the Band's. Rob Bamberger, host of "Hot Jazz Saturday Night," once played an aircheck of the trio performing "Where or When" in some ballroom. You could hear the audience, the women in particular, begin to sing along and Goodman immediately shifted his performance to accompany the audience. It gave me shivers to travel back in time to that romantic evening in the late 1930's.
A great story. I wish I could get that recording. I've never heard the recitative sung before. It's one of my favorite songs too.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Thu Jul 13, 2006 3:35 pm

Rodgers and Hart composed one (and only one) monster hit that was not part of a show.
And the answer is?

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Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:47 pm

Is it Isn't it romantic??...Maybe Blue Moon?...Frank Zappa quotes them on Playground Psychotics and Baby Snakes so I reckon he thought of them as pop.

Ted

Post by Ted » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:19 pm

Maybe Blue Moon?
Not maybe, exactly

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Post by Wallingford » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:22 pm

KAREN CARPENTER.......if she'd survived today, she'd doubtless have had a fair number of albums' worth of these songs. In fact, one record dealer friend told me, "Karen's career was a tragedy, and a travesty!"

The tragedy, of course, pertaining to her death from anorexia; the travesty part being that she could've easily recorded old standards, "rather than the treacly stuff she squandered her big, beautiful voice on!!" my friend explained.

My own response? Well, I certainly couldn't consider her brother's "Goodbye To Love" or "Yesterday Once More" as saccharine slush--or Paul Williams' "Rainy Days And Mondays" or Bacharach's "Close To You." As for her worries over her looks, I only have this to say: why did she have concern over that, when she was blessed with a voice that could easily cover two senses at once?
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Ted

Post by Ted » Thu Jul 13, 2006 8:44 pm

I’d like to think Karen Carpenter would have one day been able to interpret the American songbook, but at the time of her death her vocal style was void of passion or pathos.

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Post by Madame » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:40 pm

Wallingford wrote: As for her worries over her looks, I only have this to say: why did she have concern over that, when she was blessed with a voice that could easily cover two senses at once?
She had a deadly eating disorder which started way back in her childhood. Here is an excellent article about her, and anorexia in general:

http://atdpweb.soe.berkeley.edu/quest/M ... enter.html

Richard Carpenter recalls that Karen was "a chubby teenager". Genetically, she wasn't meant to be super thin. Unfortunately for this singer, the only body that she would stand to have was a thin one. The dieting began in 1967 when Karen's doctor put her on a water diet, bringing her weight down from 140 lbs to 120. When she had made it down to 115 lbs, people told her she looked good, but she could only reply that this was just the beginning of the weight loss, and that she wanted to lose still more. By the fall of 1975, Karen was down to 80 lbs. She was taking dozens of thyroid pills a day, and throwing up the little food that she ate. Karen's body was so weak that she was forced to lay down between shows, and the audience was gasping at her body as she walked on stage. It was this year in Las Vegas that Karen collapsed on stage while singing "Top of the World". It was a big scare to the audience and her family. After being rushed to the hospital, it was reported that Karen was 35 lbs underweight. It was this final collapse that made Karen Carpenter realize that she had a serious problem. She went to doctors and therapists, and eventually began to believe that she was well. However, in reality, her body was still suffering from the lack of food, the over dosages of laxatives, the lack of sleep, and the anxiety of being on the road. When she died in 1983, it was a shock to many people who believed that she had been cured.

Anorexia Nervosa is often referred to as the stars or starlets disease. Sometimes also called the slimmers' disease, or the rich women's disease. Anorexia is especially common among young white girls and those who need to have more control over their lives. Among anorexics, you will find female hyper-achievers, fashion models, dancers, gymnasts, and ballet troupes. It is the good girls disease.


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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 15, 2006 3:43 am

Haydnseek wrote:Quiz:

Which well-known singer worked as a translator at the United Nations before her singing career took off?
I give up. Who?
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 15, 2006 3:45 am

Ted wrote:I’d like to think Karen Carpenter would have one day been able to interpret the American songbook, but at the time of her death her vocal style was void of passion or pathos.
Interesting observation. I was always so keen on the voice I never noticed.
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Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:34 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Haydnseek wrote:Quiz:

Which well-known singer worked as a translator at the United Nations before her singing career took off?
I give up. Who?
I forgot about this. Hint - her real name is Edith Gormezano but you know her by her stage name. Hey, we should have more quizes - this could be the start of something big!
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by Haydnseek » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:01 am

Wallingford wrote:KAREN CARPENTER.......My own response? Well, I certainly couldn't consider her brother's "Goodbye To Love" or "Yesterday Once More" as saccharine slush--or Paul Williams' "Rainy Days And Mondays" or Bacharach's "Close To You."


Or "We've Only Just Begun." Those are all very good songs and Richard Carpenter wrote interesting arrangements. Karen Carpenter sang a medley of standards with Ella Fitzgerald on a TV special. I'll bet you can find it on CD. I don't think she had a great feel for the style but she was inexperienced with it. Some of her contemporaries like Linda Ronstadt and Maureen McGovern developed into fine standards singers and she might have too.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:18 pm

Haydnseek wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Haydnseek wrote:Quiz:

Which well-known singer worked as a translator at the United Nations before her singing career took off?
I give up. Who?
I forgot about this. Hint - her real name is Edith Gormezano but you know her by her stage name. Hey, we should have more quizes - this could be the start of something big!
Those Ellis Island in-processing clerks! :D

Eydie Gorme
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:21 pm

Haydnseek wrote:I don't think she had a great feel for the style but she was inexperienced with it. Some of her contemporaries like Linda Ronstadt and Maureen McGovern developed into fine standards singers and she might have too.
I know Ronstadt was coached by Nelson Riddle. If Carpenter had that kind of tutelage, with her voice, she would have developed into a fine singer of the Songbook too.
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Post by Haydnseek » Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:33 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Those Ellis Island in-processing clerks! :D

Eydie Gorme
Correct. Her parents emigrated from Spain. She married Sidney Leibowitz, better known as Steve Lawrence. As Sidney & Edith they could've been huge!

Listening to Frank's Place on XM Radio has increased my appreciation of Steve Lawrence many times over. Previously I thought of him as just another Vegas lounge singer who was good at sketch comedy on Carol Burnett's show. I'm wondering now if he isn't the best male singer of standards since Sinatra and that includes Tony Bennett (Torme was another kind of singer). He has dramatic skills as well as an outstanding voice. I liked Eydie from the time I heard her sing Monk's 'Round Midnight years ago.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:40 am

Haydnseek wrote:Listening to Frank's Place on XM Radio has increased my appreciation of Steve Lawrence many times over.
Mine too. And Eydie. Both of them were (are?) terrific song stylists.
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Post by Haydnseek » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:24 pm

What are you're favorite tunes from The Great American Songbook? I found it too hard to list 10 so I'm going to name 15 in no particular order. On another day the list would likely be different. Here goes:

Embraceable You - George and Ira Gershwin
Liza (All the Clouds’ll Roll Away) Gershwin/Gershwin/Kahn
Isn’t it Romantic – Rodgers and Hart
Where or When - Rodgers and Hart
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was - Rodgers and Hart
There's a Small Hotel - Rodgers and Hart
I Could Write a Book - Rodgers and Hart
I Only Have Eyes for You - Warren/Dubin
You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me - Warren/Dubin
There’ll Never Be Another You - Warren/Gordon
Too Marvelous for Words - Whiting/Mercer
All The Things You Are - Kern/Hammerstein
The Way You Look Tonight - Kern/Fields
I Won't Dance - Kern/Fields
It Had To Be You - Kahn/Jones
Last edited by Haydnseek on Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Madame » Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:49 pm

Haydnseek wrote:What are you're favorite tunes from The Great American Songbook?

Embraceable You - George and Ira Gershwin
Liza (All the Clouds’ll Roll Away) Gershwin/Gershwin/Kahn
Isn’t it Romantic – Rodgers and Hart
Where or When - Rodgers and Hart
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was - Rodgers and Hart
There's a Small Hotel - Rodgers and Hart
I Only Have Eyes for You - Warren/Dubin
You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me - Warren/Dubin
There’ll Never Be Another You - Warren/Gordon
Too Marvelous for Words - Whiting/Mercer
I Could Write a Book - Cole Porter
All The Things You Are - Kern/Hammerstein
The Way You Look Tonight - Kern/Fields
I Won't Dance - Kern/Fields
It Had To Be You - Kahn/Jones
Good list, how could you stop at 15?

I'd add:
"Stardust" - Carmichael
"My Funny Valentine" - Rodgers & Hart
"One For My Baby (And One More for the Road)" - Mercer
"Every Time We Say Goodbye" - Porter
"You Do Something To Me" - Porter

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Post by Haydnseek » Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:23 pm

Madame wrote:Good list, how could you stop at 15?

I'd add:
"Stardust" - Carmichael
"My Funny Valentine" - Rodgers & Hart
"One For My Baby (And One More for the Road)" - Mercer
"Every Time We Say Goodbye" - Porter
"You Do Something To Me" - Porter
I can add more to the list all too easily:

How High the Moon
Jeepers Creepers
Fascinating Rhythm
Nice Work if You Can Get It
A Foggy Day
In the Still of the Night
Isn’t It a Lovely Day
They Say It’s Wonderful
This Can’t Be Love
Let’s Fall in Love
It’s Only a Paper Moon
I Can’t Get Started
But Beautiful
It’s Easy to Remember
Long Ago and Far Away
Till the Clouds Roll By
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:43 am

As for Ronstadt /Riddle, While I give her kudos for her opus within the confines of the Songbook (In fact, she is more musically diverse than any other pop singer I can think of) She too has a sometimes methodical approach to the material—more so when you see her performing live which I have.
‘twas a tad vexing to see her standing at attention, hands neatly folded at her navel while she sang the songs of Porter, Gershwin(s), Rodgers (H & H)—each composition dripping with emotion while the singer took a pose one might witness at a 2nd grade school poetry reading.
On the other hand Brava on her exquisite vocalizing

Madame
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Post by Madame » Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:32 pm

Haydnseek wrote:

I can add more to the list all too easily:

How High the Moon
Jeepers Creepers
Fascinating Rhythm
Nice Work if You Can Get It
A Foggy Day
In the Still of the Night
Isn’t It a Lovely Day
They Say It’s Wonderful
This Can’t Be Love
Let’s Fall in Love
It’s Only a Paper Moon
I Can’t Get Started
But Beautiful
It’s Easy to Remember
Long Ago and Far Away
Till the Clouds Roll By
I had a vision of this becoming a "Dueling Banjos" volley :)

Yes, that music is exquisite. Years ago I bought the "Red Hot and Blue" tribute to Cole Porter. I was so surprised to learn that he wrote "Don't Fence Me In", always thought it was one of those old cowboy songs. That particular album is one of my favorites, unique covers by pop artists -- Annie Lennox sang "Every Time We Say Good-bye" as well as anyone I've ever heard. Sinead O'Connor gave me goose bumps with her "You Do Something to Me".

Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:48 pm

Here's another singer of boomer-vintage who's decided recently to try her best shot at these lieder:

CHAKA KHAN.....link

Yep, she's definitely come quite a way since 30 years ago, when she was encouraging the world's obscene phonecallers with "Tell Me Something Good"!
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Madame
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:56 am

Post by Madame » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:06 am

Wallingford wrote:Here's another singer of boomer-vintage who's decided recently to try her best shot at these lieder:

CHAKA KHAN.....link

Yep, she's definitely come quite a way since 30 years ago, when she was encouraging the world's obscene phonecallers with "Tell Me Something Good"!
VER-y nice. Thank you.

miranda
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Post by miranda » Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:21 am

Since I don't really think of her as a jazz artist, I'll just mention her here--Julie London, she of the sultry, intimate voice. I like her voice best when it has the sparest of accompaniments--maybe one or two backing instruments, since her voice tends to be overwhemed by a big orchestra, in my opinion. These two albums, collected on one cd, are her best, I think.

Image

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:09 am

The New York Times


August 2, 2006
Critic’s Notebook
Tony Bennett at 80, Keeping the Flame
By STEPHEN HOLDEN

A quintessential Tony Bennett moment comes at the end of “It’s a Wonderful World,” the tender duet he recorded with K. D. Lang for their 2002 Louis Armstrong tribute album, “A Wonderful World.” After they swap greeting-card doggerel celebrating “trees of green,” “skies of blue” and “clouds of white,” Mr. Bennett remarks with a boyish enthusiasm, “Don’t you think Satchmo was right?”

Ms. Lang responds by crooning a final, dreamy “what a wonderful world,” whereupon her partner, speaking in the quiet, choked-up voice of a man visiting the grave of a beloved father figure, declares, “You were right, Pops.”

This gentle burst of affirmation melts your heart and reminds you that sincerity, a mode of expression that has been twisted, trampled, co-opted and corrupted in countless ways by the false intimacy of television, still exists in American popular culture. It can even salvage “trees of green,” “skies of blue” and “clouds of white” from the junk heap of pop inanity.

Mr. Bennett, who turns 80 tomorrow, has steadfastly remained the embodiment of heart in popular music. He pours it into every note he sings and every phrase he swings with a sophistication that deepens his unguarded emotional directness. In the polluted sea of irony, bad faith and grotesque attitudinizing that pop music has become, he is a rock of integrity.

That integrity has carried him through the ups, downs and ups of a musical career that now spans more than half a century. After the death of Frank Sinatra in 1998, Mr. Bennett immediately became the leading caretaker of the literate American song tradition that runs from Kern to Ellington to Rodgers. You couldn’t ask for a more reverent keeper of the flame.

Careers that last as long and have been as distinguished as Mr. Bennett’s have something to tell us about collective cultural experience over decades. It has been said that Sinatra’s journey from skinny, starry-eyed “Frankie,” strewing hearts and flowers, to the imperious, volatile Chairman of the Board roughly parallels an American loss of innocence. As Sinatra entered his noir period in the mid-1950’s, his romantic faith gave way to a soul-searching existentialism that yielded the most psychologically complex popular music ever recorded. Following a similar arc, the country grew from a nation of hungry dreamers fleeing the Depression and fighting “the good war” into an arrogant empire drunk on power and angry at the failure of the American dream to bring utopia.

Mr. Bennett is something else altogether. A native New Yorker and man of the people, he never strayed far from his working-class roots in Astoria, Queens, where he was born Anthony Benedetto. Although he came out of the same tradition of Mediterranean balladry as Sinatra, he retained the innocence and joie de vivre of his youth. Disappointment is not in his vocabulary. We don’t go to him for psychological complexity, but for refreshment and reassurance that life is good.

Believing in the power of art to ennoble ordinary lives, he sings what he feels with a rare mixture of humility and pride: humility in the face of the daunting popular-song tradition he treasures and pride that he is recognized as its custodian. Gratitude and joy, gruffness and beauty balance each other perfectly in singing that has grown more rhythmically acute with each passing year.

To attend a Tony Bennett concert is to find yourself in the presence of a performer who exudes a rough-hewn natural elegance, devoid of airs. Singing a song like “Mood Indigo,” he transmutes its sadness into the exuberance of a man who acknowledges having the blues but embraces resilience. He can still end a song like “Fly Me to the Moon” or “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” with an old-fashioned, quasi-operatic crescendo, but he makes these corny triumphal endings stick in your heart.

Late next month, Columbia Records will release “Tony Bennett: Duets/An American Classic,” which includes 18 of his old hits and favorite album cuts rerecorded with everybody from Bono (“I Wanna Be Around”) to Tim McGraw (“Cold, Cold Heart”). The album belongs to the dubious Grammy-seeking category of event records that includes “Frank Sinatra Duets” and Ray Charles’s “Genius Loves Company,” albums that aren’t about interpreting songs but are about pop royalty putting on a show of chumminess while strutting arm in arm down the red carpet.

Everyone involved in these orgies of mutual admiration pretends for the moment that there are no ethnic, generational or stylistic boundaries in music. Mr. Bennett handles his chores on “Duets” with a casual, offhand grace that goes a long way toward undercutting the ceremonial pretensions.

It is an official marker in a career that can be divided into three phases. The first is defined by four early-50’s hits: “Because of You,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Blue Velvet” and “Stranger in Paradise,” which stand as the gorgeous final flowering of the high-romantic style invented in the 40’s by Sinatra and his arranger, Axel Stordahl. Pure and throbbing, Mr. Bennett’s voice adds a semioperatic heft to Sinatra’s more intimate crooning style. Male pop singing since then has never been this unabashedly sweet.

Phase two began in 1962 with the hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” which rejuvenated Mr. Bennett’s flagging career. Singing songs like “I Wanna Be Around,” “The Good Life” and “The Shadow of Your Smile,” the 30-something singer infused these more adult, bittersweet ballads with a current of worldly nostalgia.

At the end of the 1960’s, Mr. Bennett, like many of his peers, became an instant relic rudely shoved to the perimeter of the pop marketplace in the vindictive generational coup that thrust rock to the forefront of American pop. Leaving Columbia Records in 1972, he spent the next decade and a half in semi-exile, recording excellent but obscure albums (including two mid-70’s masterpieces with Bill Evans) for smaller labels before returning to Columbia Records in 1986.

Mr. Bennett’s resurgence under the management of his son Danny has been a double-barreled triumph of marketing and artistry: of marketing in the case of his “MTV Unplugged” record, which shrewdly cast him as an avuncular elder statesman of rock and won him the Grammy for album of the year in 1995, and of artistry in the deluge of lovingly conceived and executed tribute albums he has put out over the last decade and a half.

Those records include “Perfectly Frank” (a Sinatra tribute), “Steppin’ Out” (Fred Astaire), “On Holiday” (Billie Holiday), “Hot and Cool: Bennett Sings Ellington,” “Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues” (easy-listening pop-blues duets performed with stars like B. B. King, Ray Charles and Bonnie Raitt) and “Here’s to the Ladies” (his versions of the signature songs of 17 women, from Mabel Mercer and Blossom Dearie to Sarah Vaughan and Barbra Streisand).

This legacy equals Ella Fitzgerald’s Songbook albums of the 50’s and 60’s, which were instrumental in codifying the American songbook. These albums honor the performers as well as the music they recorded. Listen to any or all of them, and you may find yourself nodding your head and agreeing with Mr. Bennett: “You were right, Pops.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/02/arts/ ... ref=slogin
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Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:42 pm

miranda wrote:Since I don't really think of her as a jazz artist, I'll just mention her here--Julie London, she of the sultry, intimate voice. I like her voice best when it has the sparest of accompaniments--maybe one or two backing instruments, since her voice tends to be overwhemed by a big orchestra, in my opinion. These two albums, collected on one cd, are her best, I think.

Image
I may get this CD. I've been enjoying her on XM Radio lately. She was married to Jack Webb of Dragnet fame for a time. Their divorce must have been amicable because he hired her and her new husband, songwriter Bobby Troup (Route 66, Girl Talk,) to play leads in his TV series Emergency! I once saw a bowling tournement on television where the Troups were in the audience. Good looks, a sexy voice and an interest in bowling - what a chick!
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by jserraglio » Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:22 pm

Image
One of the most moving jazz takes on Porgy & Bess I have ever heard. Gershwin's music comes alive with a gospel flavoring.
The orchestra includes many jazz greats like Harry Edison, Joe Pass, Bud Shank, Lee Ritenour, J.J. Johnson, Jimmy Cleveland, etc., and even (I think) the former concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra (Jacob Krachmalnick).
Produced by Norman Granz who also did the earlier Ella/Louis Porgy & Bess. Great sounding too.

anasazi
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Post by anasazi » Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:34 am

Whoever it was mentioned Peggy Lee and June Christy in the same post. I'm with you. Although not in the same class with Lee or Christy, not to mention Ella, I did enjoy Lola Albright sing in some of those old Peter Gunn TV shows. She may not have had the voice, but she did have the right feeling for the songs. My other favorites, a young Nancy Wilson or a mature Billie Holliday.
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" - John Muir.

Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:40 pm

Actually, I thought I'd help SOLIDIFY Petula Clark's rightful place as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook, as per my assertion a few pages back (I find it astounding anyone would think of her as a "one-hit wonder"......as if "Downtown," "My Love," "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love," "Don't Sleep In The Subway," "This Is My Song", or "Color My World With Sunshine Yellow Each Day" weren't each records with an effervescent personality all their own).

Actually, Miss Petula sung our Songbook WAY BACK WHEN: like, a good dozen years before her big "British Invasion" breakthrough here in the States. Her early recording career amply allowed her fellow English to hear what our songwriters were penning when she was just barely out of her teens (actually, she was, kind of, Britain's answer to Shirley Temple when it came to be a hardworking singer-actress).

Here's a small sampling--her discs on England's Polygon label show it to best advantage:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/tracks ... TF8#disc_1
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/tracks ... TF8#disc_1
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:05 pm

Wallingford wrote:Actually, I thought I'd help SOLIDIFY Petula Clark's rightful place as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook, as per my assertion a few pages back (I find it astounding anyone would think of her as a "one-hit wonder"......as if "Downtown," "My Love," "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love," "Don't Sleep In The Subway," "This Is My Song", or "Color My World With Sunshine Yellow Each Day" weren't each records with an effervescent personality all their own).
Petula Clark also had a serious career in the other great modern popular song tradition: the French.

The other day I heard a recording I didn't know existed: Frank Sinatra singing "Don't Sleep in the Subway." Previously I considered his cover of Paul Simon's "Mrs. Robinson" to be his worst but "Subway" takes that honor. I've always enjoyed Clark's hit though.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:00 pm

Wallingford wrote:Actually, I thought I'd help SOLIDIFY Petula Clark's rightful place as an interpreter of the Great American Songbook, as per my assertion a few pages back (I find it astounding anyone would think of her as a "one-hit wonder"......as if "Downtown," "My Love," "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love," "Don't Sleep In The Subway," "This Is My Song", or "Color My World With Sunshine Yellow Each Day" weren't each records with an effervescent personality all their own).
Oops.....SILLY ME......how could I forget "I Know A Place"??!?
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Wallingford
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Post by Wallingford » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:10 pm

Is it just ME--or has TERESA BREWER been unjustly left out of this company thus far?

Granted, hers was the "painted smile" style of singing: her signature hits are "Music Music Music," "Jilted" (she sounded pretty darn happy she was), and a top-notch cover or "Let Me Go Lover."

After her sales declined in the 60s (a repetitive story with these particular celebs), she took up doing the Songbook full time.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:15 pm

Wallingford wrote:Is it just ME--or has TERESA BREWER been unjustly left out of this company thus far?
Um, I think it's just you. I don't much care for her sound, her choice of songs, or her style. She reminds me of a female Frankie Laine. I don't think she was very big even when she was in her heyday.
Corlyss
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