Categories
Monday Notes

All the Things You Are, the refined music of Jerome Kern

[Monday Notes No. 175] It is a curious fact that one of the most played jazz pieces ever, All the Things You Are, had such a disastrous start. The song was composed by Jerome Kern and has become one of the most played and most studied jazz standards. After hearing the song in Sarah Vaughan’s…Continue readingAll the Things You Are, the refined music of Jerome Kern

Categories
Monday Notes

Just Friends, a tritone interval for a love that has ended

[Monday Notes No. 173] Just Friends is a classic jazz standard from 1931, composed by John Klenner (music) and Sam M. Lewis (words). It is a song about a love that ended and became just a friendship. The piece is original in its lyrics but also in its melody, which repeatedly performs a descending tritone…Continue readingJust Friends, a tritone interval for a love that has ended

Categories
Monday Notes

In the Wee Small Hours, a concept album by Frank Sinatra

[Monday Notes n.170] In the Wee Small Hours is a 1955 Frank Sinatra album, with arrangements by Nelson Riddle. This work anticipates the concept albums of the 1960s and 1970s. It is in fact not a simple collection of songs, but a coherent and well-structured work, dealing with themes such as the end of a…Continue readingIn the Wee Small Hours, a concept album by Frank Sinatra

Categories
Monday Notes

Lelio Luttazzi, Mi piace. Jazz the Italian way

[Monday’s Notes no. 149] Mi piace is a song that Lelio Luttazzi wrote in 1962, tailor-made for the singer Jula de Palma, whom he discovered and launched to international success. The song is very refined and is clearly inspired by the American repertoire. I have tried to analyse it, to reveal the secret of its…Continue readingLelio Luttazzi, Mi piace. Jazz the Italian way

Categories
Monday Notes

Nina Simone, Feeling Good. A song to explore soul music

[Monday Notes No. 144] Feeling Good is a soul piece made famous by Nina Simone in 1965. The song appeared the same year in a musical starring Cy Grant, but it was Nina Simone who made it popular. Her version is certainly more successful and intense, let us try to analyse it also to better…Continue readingNina Simone, Feeling Good. A song to explore soul music

Categories
Monday Notes

Etta James, At Last. How to vary a song

[Monday’s Notes No. 140] At Last is a song by Harry Warren composed in the 1940s but brought to success by Etta James in 1960, also thanks to a simple but very good arrangement. The singer improvises much of the song, let us analyse her interpretation.Continue readingEtta James, At Last. How to vary a song

Categories
Monday Notes

Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were. How to write a good song

[Monday’s Notes No. 139] The Way We Were could be an ordinary song, instead it becomes something special thanks to a series of refinements in the way it was composed, arranged and sung. Barbra Streisand’s performance is also particularly poignant because the singer starred in the film for which the song was written.Continue readingBarbra Streisand, The Way We Were. How to write a good song

Categories
Monday Notes

Irving Berlin, What’ll I Do. The secrets of a good song.

[Monday Notes no. 130] Irving Berlin is one of the greatest American songwriters. He was born in Belarus and emigrated to America at the age of five. Despite having a poor musical education, he achieved success thanks to his tenacity and his ability to invent simple and effective melodies. Let us listen to and analyse…Continue readingIrving Berlin, What’ll I Do. The secrets of a good song.

Categories
Monday Notes

Judy Garland sings Smile by Charlie Chaplin

[Monday Notes no. 126] Smile, the song written by Charlie Chaplin for his film Modern Times, is more difficult to sing than it may seem. The difficulty, however, is not technical, but in interpretation. Let us therefore see how Judy Garland overcame these difficulties, producing a truly memorable interpretation of Smile.Continue readingJudy Garland sings Smile by Charlie Chaplin

Categories
Monday Notes

Every Time We Say Goodbye, a masterpiece by Cole Porter

[Monday Notes no. 121] Every Time We Say Goodbye is one of the most beautiful songs written by Cole Porter, a songwriter who contributed dozens of unforgettable songs to the repertoire of great American songs. While many composers worked in tandem with a lyricist, Cole Porter for Everytime We Say Goodbye wrote both the lyrics…Continue readingEvery Time We Say Goodbye, a masterpiece by Cole Porter

>