"More addictive than a goddam video game" - Balloon Juice

"One of my very favorite music blogs ever..." - Singer/Songwriter Emma Wallace

"Fascinating... really GREAT!!! You'll learn things about those tunes we all LOVE to play and blow on... SOD is required reading for my advanced students. It's fun, too!" - Nick Mondello of
AllAboutJazz.com

"I never let a day go by without checking it." - Bob Madison of Dinoship.com

"I had dinner the other night with some former WNEW staff members who spoke very highly of your work." - Joe Fay

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Get a Kick Out of You

By Cole Porter
1934

Five years ago today, I kicked off the Standard of the Day blog with Cole Porter's "Cheek to Cheek". And today, I celebrate that anniversary with another Porter song, which became a signature tune for the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. Of course, 20 years before Frank famously recorded it for his Swing Easy album, it was introduced in the Broadway musical Anything Goes, by Ethel Merman. The song is quintessential Porter, with a soaring melody that is matched perfectly by its wry, yet poignant lyric. It's original lyrical reference to cocaine was controversial for the time, and later substituted with other lyrics (even by Merman and Sinatra themselves). Yet Porter's sophistication is so irresistible that such substitution is silly and unnecessary. This is one of the very best from possibly the best of the giants of American popular song, and thus fitting that it would become so identified with Sinatra, perhaps the greatest interpreter of popular song. And of course, it perfectly sums up what Standard of the Day is all about.

Thanks for continually supporting this labor of love, and I hope to continue to bring great music to you for many more years! I sure do get a kick out of it...

Lyrics:

My story is much to sad to be told,
But practically everything leaves me totally cold.
The only exception I know is the case
When we're out on a quiet spree,
Fighting vainly the old ennui,
And I suddenly turn and see
Your fabulous face...

I get no kick from champagne.
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all,
So tell me why should it be true
That I get a kick out of you?

Some they may go for cocaine.
I'm sure that if I took even one sniff
It would bore me terrifically too.
Yet I get a kick out of you.

I get a kick everytime I see you standing there before me.
I get a kick, though it's clear to see
You obviously don't adore me.

I get no kick in a plane.
Flying too high with some guy in the sky
Is my idea of nothing to do.
But I get a kick out of you!

Recorded By:

Tony Bennett
Charlie Parker
Artie Shaw
Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson
Dinah Washington

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ain't Misbehavin'

By Fats Waller, Harry Brooks & Andy Razaf
1929

Standard of the Day continues its fifth anniversary celebration this month with another signature tune, this time from the great Fats Waller. Fats claimed to have written the song while in prison, which partly inspired the title. He introduced it in 1929, and it was an instant hit, being recorded by several other artists in that year alone, and of course countless times over the decades since. It was the title tune for a 1978 Broadway musical based around Waller's songs, and was also performed by Leon Redbone during the first season of Saturday Night Live. It was also adopted as a theme song by comedian George Burns. More than any other, this song captured the irresistible charm and enthusiasm of the inimitable genius Fats Waller.

Lyrics:

No one to talk with, all by myself
No one to walk with, but I'm happy on the shelf
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

I know for certain the one you love
I'm through with flirtin', it's just you I'm thinkin' of
Ain't Misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

Like Jack Horner in the corner
don't go nowhere, what do I care
Your kisses are worth waitin' for . . . Believe me.

I don't stay out late, don't care to go
I'm home about 8, just me and my radio
Ain't Misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

Recorded By:

Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Eartha Kitt
Django Reinhardt
Johnnie Ray

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fine and Mellow

By Billie Holiday
1939

Fifty-four years ago today, Billie Holiday, the greatest jazz singer of her time or perhaps any, died of heart failure in a hospital bed to which she had been handcuffed due to narcotics possession. But 20 years before that tragic day, she composed this sublime song--one of only a handful she wrote herself. Typical of her cynical and mournful nature, the song is a blue whose lyrics describe poor treatment at the hands of an unworthy man, who is loved nevertheless. It truly epitomizes the pain at the heart of this great artist's work. She initially recorded it in 1939, but also performed it during a 1957 TV special, The Sound of Jazz. Today Standard of the Day remembers the song, as we remember the passing of this unparalleled legend of music.

AND, with this month bringing the FIFTH anniversary of Standard of the Day on July 21, I'll be devoting the rest of the month to vocalists' signature songs, like this one. Stay tuned!

Lyrics:

My man don't love me

Treats me oh so mean
My man he don't love me
Treats me awfully
Hes the, lowest man
That Ive ever seen

He wears high trimmed pants
Stripes are really yellow
He wears high trimmed pants
Stripes are really yellow
But when he starts in to love me
Hes so fine and mellow

Love will make you drink and gamble
Make you stay out all night long repeat
Love will make you drink and gamble
Make you stay out all night long repeat
Love will make you do things
That you know is wrong

But if you treat me right baby
Ill stay home everyday
But if you treat me right baby
Ill stay home everyday
But you're so mean to me baby
I know you're gonna drive me away

Love is just like the faucet
It turns off and on
Love is just like the faucet
It turns off and on
Sometimes when you think it's on baby
It has turned off and gone.

Recorded By:

Nina Simone
Eva Cassidy
Ella Fitzgerald
Lou Rawls
Dee Dee Bridgewater

Listen to Martini in the Morning

Jazz News