Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Sunday Jazz – Clare Teal

The brilliant Clare Teal has just released what might just be her best album yet, titled “Hey Ho” the album pays tribute some some great British Songwriters both old and new.

Her torch song conversions of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars and Moloko’s Sing It Back will doubtless grab the attention, but most impressive is the Tom Jones classic It’s Not Unusual transformed into a summery bossa nova.

“Chasing Cars” – Clare Teal

“Hey Ho” has been conceived and compiled thoughtfully, with a dash of inspirational boldness, to celebrate great British song writing, dusting the numbers with the lightest of jazz touches in the process.

How Noel Coward or Ivor Novello, let alone W. B. Yeats (present courtesy of Herbert Hughes’ setting of his poem, “Down by the Sally Gardens”) would have felt rubbing shoulders with Annie Lennox, Snow Patrol or Moloko is anybody’s guess.

All that matters is that here, Teal and her collaborators have identified the common threads that
run through some of their most lovedsongs and come up with a musical tapestry that does them all proud.

To buy the music of Clare Teal click HERE.

This is from the “Get Happy” album.

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May 15, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, Jazz Vocal, New Music, New Releases, Video | | 2 Comments

Happy Easter Sunday

“A Sunday Kind Of Love” – Etta James

I want a Sunday kind of love
A love to last past Saturday night
And I’d like to know it’s more than love at first sight
And I want a Sunday kind of love
Oh yea yea

I want a a love that’s on the square
Can’t seem to find somebody
Someone to care
And I’m on a lonely road that leads to no where
I need a Sunday kind of love

I do my Sunday dreaming, Oh yea
And all my Sunday scheming
Every minute, every hour, every day

Oh I’m hoping to discover
A certain kind of lover
Who will show me the way

And my arms need someone
Someone to enfold
To keep me warm when Mondays and Tuesdays grow cold
Love for all my life to have and to hold
Oh and I want a Sunday kind of love
Oh yea yea yea

I don’t want a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday, Friday or Saturday
Oh nothing but Sunday oh yea
I want a Sunday Sunday
I want a Sunday kind of love
Oh yea
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday kind of loooove

To buy the music of Etta James click HERE

April 24, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Blues, Jazz Vocal, Old Music, R&B | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Louis Prima

“Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)” – Louis Prima & Keely Smith

You work and work for years and years, you’re always on the go
You never take a minute off, too busy makin’ dough
Someday, you say, you’ll have your fun, when you’re a millionaire
Imagine all the fun you’ll have in your old rockin’ chair

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think

You’re gonna take that ocean trip, no matter, come what may
You’ve got your reservations made, but you just can’t get away
Next year for sure, you’ll see the world, you’ll really get around
But how far can you travel when you’re six feet underground?

Your heart of hearts, your dream of dreams, your ravishing brunette
She’s left you and she’s now become somebody else’s pet
Lay down that gun, don’t try, my friend, to reach the great beyond
You’ll have more fun by reaching for a redhead or a blonde

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think

“Enjoy Yourself” is a popular song published in 1949, with music written by Carl Sigman and lyrics by Herb Magidson.

The most popular version of the song, recorded by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, was made on November 27 (some sources give November 28), 1949. The recording was released by Decca Records as catalog number 24825. The record first reached the Billboard charts on January 13, 1950 and lasted 19 weeks on the chart, peaking at #10.

The song had a new lease of life following versions by Prince Buster and The Specials

To buy the music of Louis Prima click HERE

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Jazz Vocal, Old Music, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Chet Baker

“By and large, jazz has always been
        like the kind of a man you wouldn’t
        want your daughter to associate
        with”
        ~ Duke Ellington

 

“Time After Time” – Chet Baker

 

To much of the pop (as opposed to the jazz) audience, Chet Baker was known not as an able cool jazz trumpeter, but as a romantic balladeer. The two classifications were not mutually exclusive; Baker’s vocal numbers would also feature his trumpet playing, as well as fine instrumental support from West Coast cool jazzers. For those who prefer the vocal side of the Baker canon, this is an excellent compilation of his best vintage material in that mode. The 20 tracks draw from sessions covering the era when he was generally conceded to be at his vocal peak (1953-1956), and are dominated by standards from the likes of Rodgers & Hart, Carmichael, Gershwin, and Kern. Baker’s singing was white and naïve in the best senses, with a quavering, uncertain earnestness that embodied a certain (safe) strain of mid-’50s bohemianism. That’s the Baker heard on this collection, which contains some his most famous interpretations, including “My Funny Valentine,” “Time After Time,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” and “Let’s Get Lost.”

Review Source:- www.allmusic.com

 

To buy the music of Chet Baker click HERE

April 3, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, Old Music | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – George Shearing

Somehow the news of Sir George Shearing OBE dying on 14th February in New York from heart failure at the age of 91 had passed me by until yesterday when I noticed an obituary in a magazine.

George Shearing enjoyed an international reputation as a pianist, arranger and composer.  Equally at home on the concert stage as in jazz clubs, Shearing is recognized for inventive, orchestrated jazz. 

He has written over 300 compositions, including the classic “Lullaby of Birdland,” (words by George David Weiss) which has become a jazz standard since it’s creation in 1952, the title being a reference to Charlie “Bird” Parker and the club named after him.

Oh, lullaby of birdland, that’s what I
Always hear when you sigh,
Never in my wordland could there be ways to reveal
in a phrase how I feel
Have you ever heard two turtle doves
Bill and coo, when they love?
That’s the kind of magic music we make with our lips
When we kiss
And there’s a weepy old willow
He really knows how to cry,
That’s how I’d cry in my pillow
If you should tell me farewell and goodbye
Lullaby of birdland whisper low
Kiss me sweet, and we’ll go
Flying high in birdland, high in the sky up above
All because we’re in love

Born in 1919 in the Battersea area of London he moved to the US in 1942 to seek out a career in jazz and became well-known and respected over a period of time, however, it was 1949 when he formed a quintet to record “September in the Rain” for MGM.  The record was an overnight success and sold 900,000 copies. 

His U.S. reputation was permanently established when he was booked into Birdland, the legendary jazz spot in New York.  Since then, he has become one of the country’s most popular performing and recording artist.

For a full biography click HERE

Click HERE for a full obituary as published in The Guardian.

My own tribute comes from two tracks from my favourite albums featuring him.

First up is his brilliant album recorded in 1959 with the great Peggy Lee

“Don’t Ever Leave Me” – Peggy Lee & George Shearing

Don’t ever leave me, now that you’re here
Here is where you belong
Everything seems so right, when you’re near
When you’re away, it’s all wrong

I’m so dependent when I need comfort
I always run to you
Don’t ever leave me, ’cause if you do
I’ll have no one to run to

I’m so dependent when I need comfort
I always run to you
Don’t ever leave me, ’cause if you do
I’ll have no one to run to

Next up is Shearing’s 1961 recording “Nat King Cole Sings/George Shearing Plays”

“Pick Yourself Up” – Nat King Cole & George Shearing

Pick yourself up…
Take a deep breath…
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.

Nothing’s impossible, I have found
For when my chin is on the ground.
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off
And start all over again.

Don’t lose your confidence
If you slip
Be grateful for a pleasant trip
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired
Until the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you’ll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again
They picked themselves up
Dust themselves off
And start’d all over again.

~interlude~

Work like a soul inspired
Till the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you’ll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath…
Pick yourself up…
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.

To buy the music of George Shearing click HERE

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Jazz, Jazz Vocal, New News, Old Music, Uncategorized, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Claire Martin

My favourite contemporary jazz singer Claire Martin has a new album out on the 21st March 2011 titled “Witchcraft” and it is her second full length collaroration with Richard Rodney Bennett.

The album contains a thoughtful selection of songs from the Cy Coleman songbook and the selection weaves together the opposing vocal talents of  Claire Martin and the polished, savvy keyboard skills and compositional insight of Richard Rodney Bennett.

Claire Martin’s strength as one of the best interpreters of the Great American Songbook and as such the result of this established partnership is mesmorising music, that takes you back to a wonderful and simplier time of yesteryear.

“Would You Believe” – Claire Martin & Richard Rodney Bennett

To buy the music of Claire Martin click HERE

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, New Music, New Releases, Uncategorized, Video | , | Leave a comment

It’s Like Reaching For The Moon – Billie Holiday

“It’s Like Reaching For The Moon” – Billie Holiday

It´s like reaching for the moon
It´s like reaching for the sun
It´s like reaching for the stars
Reaching for you

You´re so far above me
How can I expect an angel to love me
Who is so divine as you are?

It´s like flying without wings
Playing fiddle without strings
And a million other things
No one can do
Though, my hopes are slender
In my secret heart I pray you´ll surrender soon
Though, it´s like reaching for the moon

To buy the music of Billie Holiday click HERE

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Jazz Vocal, Old Music | | Leave a comment

New Years Day

Best wishes to you all for 2011.

Helpless Dancer will return on 10th January 2011.

Be lucky !!!

“Next Year, Baby” – Jamie Cullum

Next Year,
Things are gonna change,
Gonna drink less beer
And start all over again
Gonna pull up my socks
Gonna clean my shower
Not gonna live by the clock
But get up at a decent hour
Gonna read more books
Gonna keep up with the news
Gonna learn how to cook
And spend less money on shoes
Pay my bills on time
File my mail away, everyday
Only drink the finest wine
And call my Gran every Sunday
Resolutions
Well Baby they come and go
Will I do any of these things?
The answer’s probably no
But if there’s one thing, I must do,
Despite my greatest fears
I’m gonna say to you
How I’ve felt all of these years
Next Year, Next Year, Next Year
I gonna tell you, how I feel
Well, resolutions
Baby they come and go
Will I do any of these things?
The answer’s probably no
But if there’s one thing, I must do,
Despite my greatest fears
I’m gonna say to you
How I’ve felt all of these years
Next Year, Next Year, Next Year

To buy the music of Jamie Cullum click HERE

Fiona with Blue

January 1, 2011 Posted by | Family, Fiona, Jazz Vocal, Mrs D, New Year, Old Music, The Dugs, Video | , , | 3 Comments

2010 Top 30 New and Old #14

Arcade Fire’s new album was one of the most eagerly awaited releases of 2010 and when “The Suburbs” arrived in August it didn’t disappoint.

It has a sound production which drags you into their music and doesn’t let you back out easily.

So many songs to choose from so here is the opening title track.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

“The Suburbs” – Arcade Fire

In the suburbs I
I learned to drive
And you told me we’d never survive
Grab your mother’s keys we’re leavin’

You always seemed so sure
That one day we’d be fighting
A suburban war
your part of town against mine
I saw you standing on the opposite shore

But by the time the first bombs fell
We were already bored
We were already, already bored

Sometimes I can’t believe it
I’m movin’ past the feeling
Sometimes I can’t believe it
I’m movin’ past the feeling again

Kids wanna be so hard
But in my dreams we’re still screamin’ and runnin’ through the yard
And all of the walls that they built in the seventies finally fall
And all of the houses they built in the seventies finally fall
Meant nothin’ at all
Meant nothin’ at all
It meant nothin

Sometimes I can’t believe it
I’m movin’ past the feeling
Sometimes I can’t believe it
I’m movin’ past the feeling and into the night

So can you understand?
Why I want a daughter while I’m still young
I wanna hold her hand
And show her some beauty
Before this damage is done

But if it’s too much to ask, it’s too much to ask
Then send me a son

Under the overpass
In the parking lot we’re still waiting
It’s already passed
So move your feet from hot pavement and into the grass
Cause it’s already passed
It’s already, already passed!

Sometimes I can’t believe it
I’m movin’ past the feeling
Sometimes I can’t believe it
I’m movin’ past the feeling again

I’m movin’ past the feeling
I’m movin’ past the feeling

In my dreams we’re still screamin’
We’re still screamin’
We’re still screamin’

To buy the music of Arcade Fire click HERE

The Melody Gardot album “My One And Only Thrill” was released in 2009, however, it was this stunning performance on Later with Jools in April 2010 which brought her to my attention.

“My One And Only Thrill” – Melody Gardot

To buy the music of Melody Gardot click HERE

To view a previous post on Melody Gardot click HERE

December 17, 2010 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, New Music, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

2010 Top 30 New and Old #29

Second Scottish act in a row in my Top 30 for 2010 and this time is as a result of the comeback of The Vaselines with their great album “Sex With an X”

“I Hate The 80’s” – The Vaselines

To buy the music of The Vaselines click HERE

To view an earlier post on The Vaselines click HERE

I originally discovered Mose Allison through The Who’s cover of “Young Man Blues” and for many years have enjoyed the iconic album “Mose Allison Sings”, this year I have delved deeper into his catalogue and in June acquired the “Autumn Song” album from which this is a cover version of a Jimmie Rogers song, not to be confused with a song of a similar title made famous by Elvis Presley.

“That’s Alright” – Mose Allison

To buy the music of Mose Allison click HERE

To view an earlier post on Mose Allison click HERE

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Jazz Vocal, Old Music | , , | Leave a comment

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