19/12/2012 § 2 Comments
Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra with their daughters Gail and Nancy, 1967.
I will admit that I am something of a closet Christmas music listener, but only of a very specific type of Christmas music. Mostly, they have to be the kind of songs that I can picture Dean Martin singing, while he leans over the back of an upright piano with holiday cocktail in hand (and any exceptions to this rule are simply for nostalgia’s sake). So I’ve thrown together a little holiday playlist on Spotify for you that features Dino, Frank, Sammy, Ella, Bing, Nat, as well as a few newer selections that just felt right. I hope you enjoy it. You can access it via the player above or this link.
You can also find my previous playlists here.
11/10/2012 § 1 Comment
Holy smokes! Where’ve ya been, kid?
Guilty as charged! I’ve definitely been quiet this week, and I’ve got to chalk it up to autumn in New York, which is quietly unfurling its beautiful self with cool evenings, hot toddys, falling leaves and flannel bathrobes. I’ve slipped down a few rabbit holes these last few days, of the cultural, literary, culinary, musical, and cinematic kind, which I am looking forward to sharing with you very soon. But today, I am forced to beg your forgiveness for being a wayward parent as of late. I’m hoping a gorgeous rendition of Autumn in New York by Sarah Vaughn might help me win you back…
Autumn in New York
Why does it seem so inviting
Autumn in New York
It spells the thrill of first-nighting
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds
In canyons of steel
They’re making me feel
It’s autumn in New York
That brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York
Is often mingled with pain
Dreamers with empty hands
May sigh for exotic lands
It’s autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again
04/10/2012 § 1 Comment
18/07/2012 § 5 Comments
- Francoise Hardy — Le temps de l’amour
- DJ Cam & Anggun — Un Eté à Paris
- Serge Gainsbourg — Cha cha cha du loup
- Nina Simone — Feeling Good
- Gotan Project & Thelonius Monk — Round About Midnight
- Charles Aznavour — Je M’voyais Déjà
- Bitter: Sweet — Dirty Laundry
- Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald — Summertime
- Yves Montand — Pour faire le portrait d’un oiseau
- Shirley Bassey — Where do I begin? (Away Team mix)
- Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse — Valerie
- Peggy Lee — Fever
- Duffy — Warwick Avenue
- Nina Simone — Lilac Wine
- Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto — Corcovado
- Billie Holiday — Speak Low (Bent remix)
- Sammy Davis Jr. — The Lady is a Tramp
A mix that is a little French, a little jazzy and features more than a few of my favorite divas (Dame Shirley Bassey! Nina!). This time around, I wanted to hear the old with the new, so along with the classics, you will notice a few remixes by Gotan Project and Verve, and a few new songs, a few selections by Stéphane Pompougnac (sidenote: did you hear the rumor about Hôtel Costes settling into Tribeca? Yes please!) — but nothing too dancey. Perfect for a sultry summer evening. Enjoy.
You may have also noticed this is my first Spotify playlist, which you can access via the embedded player above, or this link. Let me know if you have any problems with either, yes? And, you can find Mix I here.
*Updated: I also created an abbreviated version of this playlist on 8tracks.com if you don’t/can’t use Spotify. I wasn’t aware Spotify is unavailable outside of the US! Find it here.*
Photo of Lena Horne, singing in Paris in 1947, taken by Yael Joel for Life Magazine.
09/05/2012 § 6 Comments
- Dinah Washington – Blue Skies
- Ella Fitzgerald – Whatever Lola Wants
- Sammy Davis Jr. – Something’s Gotta Give
- Sarah Vaughn – Ain’t Misbehavin’
- Dean Martin – Volare/An Evening in Roma
- Dinah Washington – Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby
- Doris Day – Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
- Rosemary Clooney – Sway
- Sarah Vaughn – Misty
- Dinah Washington – I Wanna Be Loved
- Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Summertime
- Lena Horne – Someone To Watch Over Me
- Dinah Washington – Since I Fell For You
- Chet Baker – I Fall In Love Too Easily
- Doris Day – Fly Me To The Moon
- Dean Martin – Besame Mucho
- Dinah Washington – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
For my first-ever playlist, you get jazzy songs for a smoky midtown bar, or for shoes-off slowdances on the rug after the dinner party’s all gone home. It’s a little heavy on the strings and Dinah Washington, but I didn’t mind that all too much — so I hope you don’t either. Click play to enjoy!
Photo of Ella Fitzgerald, performing at Mr. Kelly’s Nightclub in Chicago, 1958. Taken by Yael Joel for Life Magazine, via the Life Archive.
02/05/2012 § Leave a comment
In gorgeous color, photographer Bert Stern captured the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in his lovely film, “Jazz on a Summer’s Day.” An amazing cocktail of pop culture, jazz, sailboats and summer in New England, it is definitely worth your time. I can’t wait for summer, by the by. Sidenote: I personally feel Anita O’Day’s hat almost steals the show — would be perfect for the Derby this weekend, no?
If you’d like to have it in your own library, head here to purchase.
02/09/2011 § 1 Comment
Do you recall I went to Sleep No More a few months ago? I noted that the production’s music was an interesting oeuvre, spanning decades and genres — but there was one song that I liked most of all, a jazz standard written in 1939 called “A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square.” About a magical night spent falling in love, this song has been sung by many, but the version I prefer — and the version used in Sleep No More — is by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Isn’t it just gorgeous…?
While I was familiar with a number of Glenn Miller Orchestra classics — Chattanooga Choo Choo, In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade, among others — I realized I actually did not know all that much about Glenn Miller himself, and upon a quick LIFE Archive search (which has been down for ages, praise Google for finally fixing the bug!), I turned up a batch of great photos of the band leader and band performing for US troops in Connecticut in 1943.
Between the years of 1939 and 1942, the Glenn Miller Orchestra had 70 — count ’em, seven-zero — top ten hits. The Orchestra also had its own CBS radio show and appeared in feature films. Most amazing though, was to find out that in 1942, at the height of popularity, Glenn Miller disbanded the Orchestra so that he could serve his country — musically, of course — in World War II. Too old to be drafted, Miller joined the US Army Air Force, conducted and modernized army bands and eventually formed the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. On December 15, 1944 Miller boarded a Paris-bound plane in order to make performance arrangements for the band. Tragically, Miller’s plane disappeared somewhere over the English Channel and was never found.
Miller’s story was made into a film in 1954, starring James Stewart.
Ladies watching “The Glenn Miller Story” in the theatre, 1954.
New to Glenn Miller? This album has all the classics — a great starter.