The song of the day for Tuesday, July 30, 2013 is “Isn’t It Romantic?”
About This Song
“isn’t It Romantic?” was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1932 for the film Love Me Tonight. It was introduced in the film by Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier. In his book American Popular Song, Alec Wilder describes this song as perfect. And indeed it is.
About This Version
Today’s song is from Bennett’s first album on his Improv label: Tony Bennett Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs, released in 1973. This album, along with Tony Bennett Sings More Great Rodgers & Hart is now available together Tony Bennett Sings The Rodgers & Hart Songbook.
I am big, big fan of these albums. Of course, I can never resist Rodgers and Hart — it’s some of the greatest music written in 20th century and their music is always a joy.
But equally impressive is Bennett’s choice of the Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet. In addition to Braff on cornet and Braff on guitar, the quartet rounds out with Wayne Wright on guitar and John Guiffrida on bass. No drums, no piano, no strings. Just this remarkable quartet and the results are outstanding.
Whitney Balliet, in a profile piece for The New Yorker magazine 1974 wrote:
The concert at Alice Tully the next evening was billed as “An Evening with Rodgers and Hart,” and it was a smooth and engaging success. The hall was sold out and the audience was hip. Bennett sang the verses of most of the songs, and by the time he got a note or two into the chorus there was the applause of recognition. He was in a dinner jacket, and stage manner was startingly old-fashioned: he used a hand make, and he whipped the cord around as though it was a lariat. … He sang twenty-one Rodger and Hart tunes, and many were memorable. … The ovation was long and standing.
I only wish I could have been there. But we have these exquisite recordings. Thankfully.
“Isn’t It Romantic?” as well as the Tony Bennett Sings The Rodgers & Hart Songbook, is available from iTunes.