The song of the day for Thursday, May 9, 2013 is Some Other Time.
About This Song
Some Other Time was written for the 1944 musical On The Town by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The story concerns three sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York, the women they meet and finally back on the ship to leave for the war. It’s a classic tale with some wonderful music by Bernstein, as good as much of West Side Story. Note that film version pays only the smallest nod to the Bernstein score, keeping only New York, New York and omitting the incredibly funny I Can Cook, Too, Lonely Town and today’s song, Some Other Time.
About This Version
Today’s song is from The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album, released in 1975. In the musical, the singers realize that as the sailors return to war, they may likely never see each other again, even as they say that they will catch up, some other time. This sense of sadness is at the core of this version, though as a sung solo, it takes on more personal sense of loss and sadness; lovers realizing that this is ending–with regret–but ending still. In the first few seconds of the song, when Bennett sings the first “oh well, we’ll catch up some other time” you can feel the enormous sense of loss and pain of this parting. And in spite of later moments of some bravado and even hope, we know that some other time most likely will not ever come. Bill Evans tells us so in the very last moments of the song, after Tony Bennett sings the last notes of some other time and the piano goes softer and higher up on the scale until it disappears completely in the middle of the melody. And then that final, isolated chord.
This recording, the third song on the album, is when I knew for certain that this was certainly not Tony Bennett being accompanied by one of the great jazz pianists of all time. Instead, it was two consummate jazz musicians meeting together and blending their respective instruments in a deep exploration of this song, which may sound deceptively simple and popular, but both musicians well understood the complex and elegant harmonies and shifts in the Bernstein score and at the same time stripping any sense of artifice from the song. Pain, beauty, love and loss. All at the same time, exquisitely performed.
Some Other Time, as well as The Tony Bennett Bill Evans album, is available from iTunes.