The song of the day for Thursday, August 28, 2014 is “That Old Black Magic.”
About This Song
One of the great songs by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, “That Old Black Magic” was written in 1942 and first recorded by Glenn Miller. It was also used in the 1942 movie Star Spangled Rhythm. It’s been recorded many times and used in several films, including the 1956 film Bus Stop, where it was sung by Marilyn Monroe.
About This Version
Today’s version is from the Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962, released last spring. The tape from this concert had been lost in the vaults at Columbia for years, though “That Old Black Magic” had been released in 1971 on Dave Brubeck Summit Sessions. The tape was located in the classical music section at Sony last December and was released as an album in May, 2013 and was number one on the jazz charts for several months.
The concert opened with Dave Brubeck playing with Eugene Wright (bass), Joe Morello (drums) and Paul Desmond (saxophone). After their set, Tony Bennett took the stage with the Ralph Sharon Trio, with Hal Gaylord (bass) and Billy Exiner (drums).
After that, Dave Brubeck, Eugene Wright and Joe Morello joined Tony Bennett for a short improv set. The four songs they did that August night in 1962 are really glorious and bear for repeated listening.
In 1962, President Kennedy invited Dave Brubeck and Tony Bennett to do a concert for the summer interns who had served in the White House that year. The concert was held on August 28, 1962. Originally, the concert was to be held on the White House grounds, but there was so much interest in attending, that it was moved to the grounds of the Washington Monument. Fifty-two years later, we are honored to acknowledge these two jazz giants, both of whom served their country in World War II and both of whom happily came to Washington to make music at the request of the president.
“That Old Black Magic,” as well as Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962, is available from iTunes.