The song of the day for Thursday, February 25, 2016 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
Tony Bennett recorded “That Old Black Magic” three times in 1962. The first was a studio recording for the unreleased (until recently, that is) On The Glory Road. The other two were live performances: the first from his legendary June 1962 concert at Carnegie Hall and the second from August 1962 at the invitation of President Kennedy to honor the year’s interns. This concert featured Tony Bennett with the Ralph Sharon Trio and the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Today’s recording comes from the third part of the concert: an unrehearsed improv session with Bennett, Dave Brubeck with two members of his quartet–Joe Morello on drums on Eugene Wright on bass.
To my never-ending joy, the tape of this concert was located in the Columbia vaults and was released in May 2013 as Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions Live 1962, released just six months after Dave Brubeck’s death in December 2012.
The entire album is magical, but especially that handful of unrehearsed songs in that improv section and none more wonderful than this version of “That Old Black Magic.”
“That Old Black Magic,” as well as Bennett & Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962, is available from iTunes.