Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Vaughan’

Another August passes by and September mercifully comes through the door. I am no fan of the month of August as I have documented here in the past. Just the saying the word brings up pangs of anxiety and unease, images of hazy heat rising under a glaring sunscape.

September, on the other hand, has connotations of coolness, shortening daylight and a quiet calmness. The cycle of life has the leaves on the trees beginning to take on color and they will soon be drifting to the ground. September has that same drifting to the ground feel that eases some of the angst of this world, at least for me.

A sigh breathed in August is different than one in September. August’s is one of frustration and in September it is one of relief.

So, as you can see, I am pleased to be in the first days of September where I can sigh freely.

As has been my habit for a number of years, I generally play a version of  one of my favorite songs, the classic September Song, at the beginning of the month. It has been recorded by so many artists that it’s not hard to find different performances of it each year. This year we are going with one from the legendary jazz singer, Sarah Vaughan. Beautiful version.

Enjoy and have a good day.

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black coffeeTime for some Sunday morning music and since I was up extra early this morning the idea of something to pick me up seems like a good idea.  Something like some black coffee.

Not the drink, though I am sipping my coffee as I write. I mean the song.

The sultry Black Coffee was written in 1948 by Sonny Burke and originally recorded by Sarah Vaughan and a few years later by Peggy Lee. There have been many, many covers of this song and most are very good. But there are four versions that really stick out for me, all very distinctly different. They are Vaughan’s original, the one from Peggy Lee, k.d. lang‘s darkly twangy version and the one I am featuring this morning from the great and grand Ella Fitzgerald.

Her version is elegantly spare with her voice and piano interweaving beautifully. It is darkly tinged but there is such strength in her phrasing that it keeps the song feeling surprisingly upbeat. Just a great, great song.

A little bit of trivia about this version: It was the favorite song of Nobel Prize winning poetess Wislawa Szymborska , who requested it be performed at her funeral. You might remember Szymborska from a blog entry here last month that featured her poem Possibilities.

So,give a listen as you sip the morning beverage of your choice.  Maybe a little black coffee…

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