The song of the day for Tuesday, December 4, 2012, is My Foolish Heart.
About My Foolish Heart
My Foolish Heart was written by Victor Young, with lyrics by Ned Washington, for the 1949 film of the same name. The film got terrible reviews; the song was nominated for an Oscar, but lost to Frank Loesser’s Baby It’s Cold Outside.
Billy Eckstine recorded the song in 1950 and it was a major hit. Since that time, it’s been a jazz and cabaret standard. I first fell in love with this song in 1993 when I heard it on Nancy LaMott’s 1993 album My Foolish Heart.
My Foolish Heart has had been recorded significantly as an instrumental piece (Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett) and, of course as a vocal (Ms. LaMott, Margaret Whiting, Ann Hampton Calloway and and many more).
About This Version
Today’s version is from the brilliant 1975 The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album. Both artists had previously recorded the song: Tony in 1958 for Long Ago and Far Away and Bill as early as 1961 with the Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard (with Paul Motian on drums and Scott LaFaro on bass, who died in an automobile accident just ten days after the live recording at the Village Vanguard).
The recording that Bennett and Evans made in 1975 is markedly different from both of their previous recordings: it’s as beautiful and heartbreaking as the song can be, without an ounce of pathos or self-indulgence. For this author, it’s one of the highlights of Tony Bennett’s collaboration with Bill Evans.
The album (expanded from the original with alternate takes), as well as the song, is available from iTunes.