The song of the day for Friday, March 8, 2013 is Time After Time.
About This Song
Time After Time was written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne for the 1947 film It Happened in Brooklyn, where it was introduced by Frank Sinatra. It’s been a jazz standard since that time, starting with the Sarah Vaughan 1946 recording with Teddy Wilson, and other great recordings by Chet Baker (1954), Stan Getz (1957) and Sinatra as well in 1957.
In The Jazz Standards, Al Gioia quotes Jule Styne as saying that “It’s a man’s song … Time After Time. When a woman sings it, it’s drained of all its power, so to speak. The girls can’t do it.” Gioia disagrees with Styne and feels that Vaughan recording was very good. That said, in the hands of Sinatra and, later, Tony Bennett, the song is superb.
About This Version
Every once in a while, I will sit down to listen to a Tony Bennett album and it’s as if I’m really hearing a song for the first time. This happened today as I sat down to listen to Perfectly Frank. The album starts with Time After Time and I was transported. Was it Tony Bennett’s voice? Robert Farnon’s wonderful arrangement? Ralph Sharon’s subtle and minimalistic and perfect accompaniment? Or is the recording of Time After Time a perfect example of what Tony Bennett calls “art of intimate singing?” Or that aspect that Whitney Balliett noted in his New Yorker interview with Bennett in 1974 – “that quality that lets you in?“
It’s likely all of these things and these things add up to a sublime and perfect album that starts with Time After Time. I seen and heard Mr. Bennett sing a ballad to an audience of 12,000 people and just about all of them felt that he was singing it just to them: a private and intensely personal conversation between the singer and the listener. I think that’s why he’s such a renowned and honored performer – he connects with his audience. He lets us in and we let him in. The result here is three minutes and thirty-three seconds of beauty and joy.
Besides, Time After Time is a really good song.
Time After Time, as well as the full Perfectly Frank album, is available from iTunes.