The song of the day for Thursday, May 22, 2014 is “Chicago.”
About This Song
The song “Chicago” was written in 1922 by Fred Fisher. It’s ubiquitous with the great city of Chicago and has been used for years in films about Chicago, including one my favorites, the 1942 movie Roxie Hart, which served as the basis for the Kander and Ebb musical Chicago. It’s been widely recorded by many artists of many generations, including Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Anita O’Day, Quintet of the Hot Club of France and Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra.
About This Version
Tony Bennett sings “Chicago” frequently and especially in first two decades of his recording career: Basie/Bennett, the 1962 Carnegie Hall concert, and Live at The Sahara, Las Vegas 1964. Today’s recording is from the recently release Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962. Bennett first appears in the concert with the Ralph Sharon Trio and sings several of his trademark songs, including a really lovely I Left My Heart in San Francisco, which was at that time a relatively new song for him. Bennett later joined Dave Brubeck, with Joe Morello on drums and Eugene Wright on bass, for little jam session. I have to say that each of the four songs on the recording are really exceptional. Everyone is having a great time and the improvisations have a terrific live energy. I know I am prejudiced when it comes to Tony Bennett, but this impromptu jam session is vocal jazz at its best; it’s a master class for any jazz singer. This recording is a real treasure that I’ve played constantly since it was released.
“Chicago,” as well as the album Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962, is available from iTunes.