The song of the day for Thursday, February 28, 2013 is When Lights Are Low.
About This Song
When Lights Are Low is true jazz standard. It was written in 1936 by the great trumpet player and band leader Benny Carter along with Spencer Williams. Miles Davis recorded it in 1956 and it has been recorded by noted jazz artists including Herbie Mann, Kenny Burrell, Lionel Hampton, Chet Baker, and, of course, Benny Carter.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded When Lights Are Low in 1964 for his album of the same name. I’m very fond of this album: it contains a number of very fine jazz songs, such as On Green Dolphin Street, and one of my favorite Tony Bennett songs: The Rules of the Road. Also, in an era of recording where too many good singers were, in my opinion, singing arrangements that suffered from what I call the Melanchrino Strings effect, When Lights Are Low uses just the very fine Ralph Sharon Trio, with Hal Gaylord on bass and Billy Exiner on drums. The album was produced by Ernie Altschuler, who produced albums for Bennett in the 1960s.
But I also picked this song for another reason: I love hearing Tony Bennett laugh. And this recording catches him chuckling a few times–at 0:36 and again at 3:24. I love that we get to hear him enjoying singing this song so much.
This song, as well as the entire album, is a joy.
When Lights Are Low, as well as the album When Lights Are Low, is available from iTunes.