The song of the day for Monday, March 2, 2015 is “Speak Low.”
About This Song
“Speak Low” was written by Kurt Weill and Ogden Nash for the 1943 musical One Touch of Venus, where it was introduced by Mary Martin and Kenny Baker. In addition to several very fine Tony Bennett recordings, “Speak Low” has been widely recorded by jazz and popular performers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Lena Horne.
About This Version
Today, we feature Tony Bennett’s 1989 version from Astoria: Portrait of the Artist. The arrangement is by Jorge Calandrelli and it swings very nicely, especially with the bass walking in the background. This recording, as well as the entire album, features the Ralph Sharon Trio, with Paul Langosch on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums, with The UK Orchestra Limited.
Today marks the 115th birthday of Kurt Weill, who composed today’s song. Weill was born on March 2, 1900 in Dessau, Germany. He was the son of a cantor. As a youth, he studied piano and began composing as a young teenager. He studied composition and music theory with Englebert Humperdinck. In the early 1920s, he began his association with Bertolt Brecht, resulting in The Threepenny Opera, with its most well-known song “Mack the Knife.”
In 1933, Weill left Nazi Germany and settled in New York with his wife, the actress Lotte Lenya. His popular works composed in America include One Touch of Venus, Lost in the Stars, Lady in the Dark and Knickerbocker Holiday.
Weill died in 1950, just a month past his 50th birthday.
“Speak Low,” as well as Astoria: Portrait of the Artist, is available from iTunes.