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The Jazz Giants Play Cole PORTER – Night And Day 1998

Posted in JAZZ, The Jazz Giants on November 19, 2010 by whoisthemonk

The Jazz Giants Play Cole PORTER – Night And Day 1998


Porter was born in Peru, Indiana, to a wealthy Episcopalian family;his maternal grandfather, James Omar “J.O.” Cole, was a coal and timber speculator who dominated his daughter’s family. His mother started Porter in musical training at an early age; he learned the violin at age six, the piano at eight, and he wrote his first operetta (with help from his mother) at 10. Porter’s mother, Kate, recognized and supported her son’s talents. She changed his legal birth year from 1891 to 1893 to make him appear more precocious. Porter’s grandfather J.O. Cole wanted the boy to become a lawyer,and with that career in mind, sent him to Worcester Academy in 1905 (where he became class valedictorian)and then Yale University beginning in 1909.

Porter was a member of Scroll and Key and Delta Kappa Epsilon, and sang both in the Yale Glee Club, of which he was elected president his senior year, and in the original line-up of the Whiffenpoofs. While at Yale, he wrote a number of student songs, including the football fight songs “Bulldog Bulldog” and “Bingo Eli Yale” (aka “Bingo, That’s The Lingo!”) that are still played at Yale to this day. Cole Porter wrote 300 songs while at Yale.

Porter spent a year at Harvard Law School in 1913 (where he was roommates with Dean Acheson), and then transferred into Arts and Sciences.An unverified story tells of a law school dean who, in frustration over Porter’s lack of performance in the classroom, suggested tongue-in-cheek that he “not waste his time” studying law, but instead focus on his music. Taking this suggestion to heart, Porter transferred to the School of Music.

In 1915, his first song on Broadway, “Esmeralda”, appeared in the revue Hands Up. The quick success was immediately followed by failure; his first Broadway production, in 1916, See America First (book by Lawrason Riggs), was a flop, closing after two weeks. Hitchy-Koo of 1919 with star Raymond Hitchcock closed after 56 performances.

Porter soon started to feel the crunch of rejection, as other revues for which he wrote were also flops. After the string of failures, Porter banished himself to Paris, selling songs and living off an allowance partly from his grandfather and partly from his mother.

The entire series of Jazz Giants Play compilations is well worth hearing, but this collection of jazz royalty interpreting the music of Cole Porter is one of the best of the lot. Porter’s music has long been a favorite among jazzmen, and the variety of settings among the thirteen selections here shows why. There’s Art Pepper swinging “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” accompanied by the powerhouse rhythm section of Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. Vibist Cal Tjader’s Latinized “I Love Paris” is a percussive revelation. John Coltrane deconstructs “I Love You,” turning it into something entirely different from its balladic origins. The oft-recorded “Night and Day” is showcased here in a cooking version from Everybody Digs Bill Evans, and Herb Ellis and Joe Pass contribute a beautiful guitar duet on “Love for Sale.” Tenor sax greats Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins and Gene Ammons each take a sizzling turn with a Porter tune, while Art Tatum delivers a dazzling solo piano run through “Begin the Beguine.
01. Zoot Sims – Dream Dancing  7.22
02. Gil Evans – Just One Of Those Things  4.26
03. Art Pepper – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To  5.26
04. Joe Pass / Herb Ellis – Love For Sale  4.51
05. Milt Jackson – All Of You  4.29
06. Bill Evans – Night And Day  7.35
07. Cal Tjader – I Love Paris  5.55
08. Joe Henderson – I’ve Got You Under My Skin  5.02
09. Art Tatum – Begin The Beguine  3.01
10. John Coltrane – I Love You  5.32
11. Gene Ammons – Easy To Love  4.19
12. Sonny Rollins – Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye  3.24
13. Johnny Griffin / Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis – From This Moment On  6.05

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