Without doing too much, he sounds as if he believes the lyrics and he believes in the song, and his gentle affectionate conviction is warming.
Here, on December 6, 1940, he was accompanied by Bill Coleman, trumpet; Benny Morton, trombone; Edmond Hall, clarinet; Bud Freeman, tenor saxophone; Teddy Wilson, piano; Eddie Gibbs, guitar; Billy Taylor, Sr., string bass; Yank Porter, drums.
How much music they fit into this 78 through split choruses and obbligati!
I find that performance incredibly tender: gratitude not only from the musicians to the audience, but to Louis and the worlds he created for us.
But the latter are too speedy for me, as if the bands are trying to show how well and hot they play by increasing the tempo.
As a smile might grow gradually and naturally, this song — to me — needs to be played at a singable tempo, to let the feeling emerge as it would in a real encounter.
I am happy that I can share the version that has stayed with me for thirty-plus years, one of John Hammond’s best but unheralded ideas, of merging “pop” vocalists Eddy Howard and Chick Bullock with superb small bands.
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