Tuesday, January 23, 2007:

body snatchers mix, part 9

Buddy Tate and Claude Hopkins -- What Is This Thing Called Love? (March-October 1960)
If this were a scene in one of the films it would be an extended take from Siegel's version, Miles and Becky in the bar, close dancing and pretending they're not falling in love again, the barman studiously not paying them any mind.
[Buddy and Claude @ emusic]

King Curtis -- What Is This Thing Called Love? (April 1960)
King Curtis was a record producer who started as a session player for R&B groups before moving on to a solo career. He recorded with John Lennon, Billy Preston, Aretha Franklin, and Duane Allman, as well as releasing a number of his own albums, before he was stabbed to death outside his New York apartment.

When I first heard this version of the song I wondered whether Curtis had cribbed from Cannonball Adderley or the other way around. The dates were one clue; the other was that on this track King Curtis has Nat Adderley on cornet.

I think I prefer this version for its concision, though the piano by Wynton Kelly is also quite nice (but, naturally, Victor Feldman on Cannonball's version acquits himself nicely).
[Soul Meeting ]

Cannonball Adderley -- What Is This Thing Called Love? (November 1960)
The rhythm is the same as the King Curtis version, but the tempo sped up, the song stretched out, the group treating the song like a pencilled map they aim to fill in.
[What Is This Thing Called Soul?]

George Shearing -- What Is This Thing Called Love? (June 1962)
George Searing and his group swimming against the tide of bop, turning in a sedate version with the bass riding a groove, the piano swapping between syncopated melody, vamps, and flights of fancy.
[Jazz Moments ]

Carmell Jones -- What Is This Thing Called Love? (1965)
Doubletime bass with trumpet (Carmell Jones) and tenor sax (Jimmy Heath) taking turns on the melody over nine minutes, seeing which one of them can blow hard and fast enough to reheat the cup of tea behind the microphone. It bubbles a few times; they give up, winded.
[Jay Hawk Talk]

Freddie Hubbard & Jimmy Heath -- What Is This Thing Called Love? (1965)
Eleven and a half minute version with sax and trumpet in competition again, Jimmy Heath trying to outbop himself. By the end of it, the tea has boiled and the ceramic cracked. I imagine the applause at the end is partly gratitude for turning in such an intense performance and partly relief for not killing themselves in the trying.
[Jam Gems: Live at the Left Bank]

Chris Connor -- Love Medley: What Is This Thing Called Love? / You Don't Know What Love Is (Aug 1986)
Chris Connor with a version which is energetic enough on its own but sounds positively tranquil in comparison to the last two versions.

Jessica Williams -- What Is This Thing Called Love? (Oct. 1986)
Jessica Williams on a whimsical, agile, and energetic piano rendition recorded live.
[Encounters, Vol. 2]

Mel Powell -- What Is This Thing Called Love? (October 21, 1987)
Mel Powell on his return to jazz after decades as a classical composer, recorded live on a cruise ship. It's a good track; Powell's in fine form; the bass gets a solo which maybe goes on a bit too long; but the group are obviously stretching themselves a bit and having a good time, and they have an appreciative audience.
[Return of Mel Powell]

Well, today didn't go as planned. Still, I think I've probably said all I have to say about the Body Snatchers works, at least without further reading. Next post will wrap it up, most likely with some brief summary of findings about sleep and dreams.

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