Archive for September 1st, 2021

Charles Burchfield-1916-44-autumnal-fantasy

Charles Burchfield– Autumnal Fantasy

But it’s a long, long while from May to December
And the days grow short when you reach September
And the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
And I haven’t got time for waiting game

September Song, Kurt Weill

First day of September, finally free of the drag and slog of August that often feels like an incessant headache to me. Even the air is cooler and fresher this morning. They say the temps might even get into the 40’s early Saturday morning.


As I have done on every first September morning for the past twelve or thirteen years, I spent a good amount of time listening to different versions of the old standard, September Song.

Written by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, it was first sung, surprisingly, by actor Walter Huston in the stage production of Knickerbocker Holiday back in 1938. Since then it has been covered by literally many hundreds of musicians and singers throughout the world and most of them are pretty good versions.

It’s just that good a song. It has long been one of my favorites and I might even say it is my favorite among many favorites.

Every year on this day, I scroll through YouTube, listening to versions that I know and love and new one that have escaped my notice in the past. I had several choices I could have went with  from among the new ones this year. Some surprising ones, actually.

But I think I will hold onto them for future use. I do hope to do this again next September and for a few years beyond that, after all.

So, for this year’s September Song I am going with a Latin-tinged version from late jazz musician Cal Tjader. My knowledge of jazz is fairly shallow so Tjader is new to me. But his biography and resume is impressive. He was the drummer in the earlier incarnations of Dave Brubeck’s bands, served as a medic in World War II, tap danced as child onscreen with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, among other notable accomplishments. But he is primarily known as being a vibraphone player and one of the leading proponents of Latin and Afro-Cuban Jazz.

In fact, he is known as the most famous non-Latin Latin musician. He died in 1982 at age 56.

This version has a different feel than some of the others but is nonetheless effective. Let’s hope it portends a better September than the August we leave behind.

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