A blog thank you to ‘Count Swing’ (@zootswings) whom I follow on Twitter. For what are the thanks due? Count Swing ‘introduced’ me, last night, to the vocals of Nancy Wilson. I knew of, and had heard in the past, a few recordings by Nancy Wilson but the album I listened to, ‘Lush Life’ (1967 [the YouTube clips – below – refer, I believe incorrectly, to 1965]), it was as if I had never heard her before – a new lady in my life, I fell in love….again! The arrangements on the album are incredible and I wasn’t surprised to see that one of the arrangers is Billy May (also Sid Feller and Oliver Nelson). Billy May, as you probably know, was one of Frank Sinatra’s arrangers – Frank is my No.1.
‘Lush Life’, the title track, the classic song by Billy Strayhorn, I’ll come back to it later in this blog.
One of the tracks, ‘I Stayed Too Long At The Fair’, was new to me and, since listening to it last night, I’ve listened to it over and over again (I haven’t just listened to Nancy’s spectacular recording). The lyrics (music and lyrics by Billy Barnes) are particularly poignant:
(click below, scroll down the YouTube page to the list of tracks and click on 33mins, 57secs):
What a performance!!
Now, I don’t suppose I should do this as it’s a Nancy Wilson blog but, please, indulge me….
Barbra Streisand delivering a fantastic performance of ‘I Stayed Too Long At The Fair’:
Next up, originally ‘Non, C’est Rien’, music by Armand Canfora and Joseph Baselli, lyrics by Michel Jourdan, the lyricist Robert Colby ‘turned it into’ ‘Free Again’ – it is beautiful but dark, full of pathos – Nancy soars in this recording:
(same link – first song):
Now, the title track, the classic song, ‘Lush Life’ – what a magical arrangement and performance:
(click on 16mins, 54secs)
Until I heard Nancy’s recording, there were, for me, two sublime recordings – now there are three!
You indulged me earlier (the Barbra Steisand recording of ‘I Stayed Too Long At The Fair’) – please indulge me again….the other two covers of ‘Lush Life’ which I think are sublime:
1) by Johnny Hartman (what a voice, so warm!!) with John Coltrane (the album they recorded together is one of my favourites!):
2) by Billy Eckstine – such an expansive performance!
That’s enough from me – thanks again, Count Swing, and I fully recommend Nancy Wilson’s album, ‘Lush Life’.