September 08, 2010

Jazz Love: All of Me and All of You

This past Saturday, Myrna and Sidecar and I went to a jazz club with some friends from out of town. (You'll hear more about it when I finish writing my Examiner piece about it.) It was great fun. The vocalist was good, the trio of musicians (piano, bass fiddle, and drums) were excellent, the drinks perfect (and pricy) and the company, charming.

Whenever a new song began, I would turn to my companions and say, oh! I love this song. Then, at one point I said: "OH! This is one of my favorites." Tom Jones* teased me the rest of the night saying, with each new song, "Oh, this is my favorite song ever."

Anyway, one of the songs they played that I love was "All of Me" by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons. It was popular throughout the 1930s, and its most famous incarnation is perhaps Billie Holiday's. I fell in love with the Count Basie arrangement, which they played when touring with Frank Sinatra (the recording is found on Sinatra at the Sands). But I just discovered this Louis Armstrong one. And it is awesome.

As a counterpart, I'm sharing with you Miles Davis/Herbie Hancock version of "All of You" by Cole Porter. (This is instrumental but the lyrics are fun.)

I do LOVE these two songs. And were I a jazz musician, I think I'd try to do a medley with them. And then Tom Jones would be saying to his companions, "This song is my favorite." And he'd mean it.

(I just discovered this recording, and I simply adore it. The trumpet phrasing is superb.)

* "Tom Jones" refers to the novel, not the singer. Mr and Mrs Tom Jones are dear friends from Philly, who love that novel as much as I do. In other news, I just bought the awesome BBC version Monday as a birthday present to myself.

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