Art Tatum Classics

First, Art Tatum with Slam Stewart and Tiny Grimes in 1943 perform “Tiny’s Exercise”.  Then “Art’s Blues” from the 1947 film “The Fabulous Dorseys”. It’s Art Tatum plus Tommy Dorsey (TB), Jimmy Dorsey (C), Charlie Barnet (TS), Ray Bauduc (D) and Ziggy Elman (T).

Here is Art Tatum in 1954 with “Yesterdays”, as only he can play it.  Although legally blind, like so many great musicians, the purported handicap seemed to open a little wider window to his soul.

Emily – Bill Evans

“Emily” was composed by Johnny Mandel, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, as the title song for the 1964 film The Americanization of Emily. (The song wasn’t sung in the movie, which is the reason that it couldn’t be nominated for an Academy Award.) It has since been recorded by numerous artists, notably Bill Evans and Tony Bennett.  “Emily” became particularly associated with Bill Evans, who recorded it for the first time for his 1967 album Further Conversations with Myself. Here’s a bit of Evans genius with Bill on piano, Eddie Gomez on bass, and Marty Morell playing drums.

Cry Me A River – Julie London

Sexy is, as the commercials say, “often imitated but never duplicated.”  It’s not baring lots of skin or exhibiting a particular sort of behavior but, rather, it is a natural quality that shines even through a high-button housecoat.  In other words, you either have it or you don’t.  Julie London oozed it!  Cry Me A River pretty much became her signature song and nobody ever did it better … it’s amazing how Julie’s simple but sexy rendition so completely outclasses modern ‘Divas’ with all their vocal gymnastics and glory notes!  This cut is from the May 1964 laser disc The Julie London Show with the Bobby Troup Quintet.