Li’l Darlin’ – Count Basie / Lambert, Hendricks and Ross

Listen carefully to “Li’l Darlin'” both by the Count Basie Orchestra, and by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross with Joe Williams.  The first thing that struck me when I heard these two versions of the song, is that you almost have to listen twice to tell which is the instrumental and which is the vocal.  That’s how precise LH&R’s style and phrasing was!  Here they are side-by-side.  What do you think?

Li'l Darlin'

by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross | Sing Along With Basie

Summertime – Sir Roland Hanna / Bob Brookmeyer

To celebrate the arrival of summer, here are not one but two unique treatments of the Gershwin classic.  Summertime was originally an aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin. Through the years, the song has became a truly solid jazz standard.

Summertime

by Sir Roland Hanna | Quartet Plays Gershwin

Summertime

by Bob Brookmeyer | Out Of This World