The song of the day for Wednesday, February 20, 2013 is You Don’t Know What Love Is.
About You Don’t Know What Love Is
This song, a major jazz standard, did not have a promising start. Written by Don Raye and Gene DePaul, You Don’t Know What Love Is was written for the 1941 Abbott and Costello film Keep ‘Em Flying, but was cut from the film. It turned up in a 1942 short B musical movie, Behind the Eight Ball.
In spite of this, the song is a true jazz masterpiece, beginning with the 1954 Miles Davis recording on Walkin’. Other notable recordings are by Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day and Billie Holiday among many others.
About This Version
Last summer, some tweeted that he was listening to Tony Bennett and Bill Evans and that the music was “bruised and beautiful.” I had much the same feeling today listening to Together Again, specifically You Don’t Know What Love Is.
All of the songs in Together Again, their second album after The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album, were recorded in September 1976. Critics are split on which of their albums is the best. I love them both, but Together Again is my favorite. For me, it has deeper, less guarded and more emotional substance from both artists. When I really listen to this song, as I did today, the pain of the loss is so raw and every nerve is exposed.
I have read that Evans and Bennett did some eighteen takes of this song. Wow. Just wow.
You Don’t Know What Love Is, as well as the remastered Together Again, is available from iTunes.