The song of the day for Saturday, September 14, 2019, is “Body and Soul.”
The late Amy Jade Winehouse was born on September 14, 1983. She died on July 23, 2011, from alcohol poisoning. Her family set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation to help young people combat addiction to drugs and alcohol.
About This Song
“Body and Soul” was written in 1930, with music by Johnny Green and lyrics by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, and Frank Eyton.
Ted Gioia, in his book The Jazz Standards, says that “Body and Soul” “is the granddaddy of jazz ballads, the quintessential torch song, and the ultimate measuring rod for tenor sax players of all generations. Even in the new millennium, this 1930 composition continues to serve as the cornerstone of the repertoire.” Louis Armstrong recorded the song first, followed in the 1930s by recordings from primarily white society bands, such as those led by Paul Whiteman.
That said, some early recordings by jazz artists including Benny Goodman and especially Art Tatum started to cement this song as a serious jazz standard (in fact, it’s rated #1 on the jazzstandards.com website). However, the Coleman Hawkins recording from 1939 is widely acknowledged to have made the song a true jazz standard. The Hawkins recording was followed by great jazz recordings by Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Art Pepper, Dave Brubeck and many more. Fine vocal recordings include those by Billie Holiday and Tony Bennett.
About This Version
Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse recorded “Body and Soul” in March 2011 for the album Duets II. It was her last recording. Not only did Duets II win the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Album, Bennett and Winehouse won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo or Group Performance.
“Body and Soul,” as well as Duets II, is available from iTunes.
This video was made during the recording session in London for “Body and Soul”