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22 tracks on Verve have been recommended.
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Once Upon a Summertime  performed by Blossom Dearie  1958
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

A very ethereal song that is perfect for the lilting girlish voice of Blossom Dearie. She is also an accomplished pianist and plays on every song she sings. She is backed by a standard jazz trio on this track and they play in a wonderfully subdued manor that allows her voice and the words to be the focal point of this song. Originally written by a french songwriter, Blossom Dearie heard the song while living and performing in France in the mid-1950's. Upon her return to the United States, she asked her friend, songwriter Johnny Mercer, to write english lyrics to the wonderful melody. The words he wrote tell a beautiful story of love lost, but fondly remembered thru a familiar smell or sound. A standout track from the marvelous LP of the same name. Give it a listen the next time you go to your local music store.

from Once Upon a Summertime (Verve Original LP - MGV2111 / CD 314 517 223-2), available on CD


She Told Me, She Told Me  performed by Marcos Valle  1967
Recommended by konsu [profile]

If there has been any really great re-discoveries in brazilian music as of late, Marcos Valle is one of them. The Samba 68' record is one of the few he gave to the USA, and we should be grateful!

This has to be THE most endearing duet I have ever heard. MV's wife of the time, Anamaria,joins him in a walk on the Impanema beach... hands clasped in the evening moonlight,stopping only to say to themselves "To look at delicious you, and know that it's all for me..." and continue their thoughts of possible love..." And you'd feel as I do, if you knew what I knew..."A childlike two-finger piano line emphasizes the naiveity of a young couple so eloquently and poignantly... against a backdrop of waves crashing softly from a string quartet....A song you'll never forget.

from Samba 68' (Verve V6-5053), available on CD


Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)  performed by Sarah Vaughn  1964
Recommended by Fig Alert [profile]

The most beautiful, sensual song I have ever heard in my life. It feels like a warm, tucked-in, comfortable sigh from a lover nestling in on your shoulder, holding you ever tighter while whispering words of love in your ear. Try to top that.

The Divine One pours herself into this number completely. Her serene confidence breathes a kind of hyper-life into the lyrics. But the way she caresses the melody and strokes it so adeptly with her brilliant vocals sends me right over the top every time.

If I ever fall in love again, the woman of my affections will, in my wildest, most fantastic dreams, melt with me on this.

Please excuse the sap...

from Viva Vaughn (Mercury SR 60941)
available on CD - The Girl From Ipanema: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook (Verve)




  03 Feb 03 ·FlyingDutchman1971: Blossom Dearie also performs a nice version of this great song on her 1964 LP 'May I Come In'
who needs forever  performed by astrud gilberto  1966
Recommended by coffman [profile]

This exceptionally haunting and lyrical song by Quincy Jones has received its definitive interpretion by Astrud Gilberto with arrangement and accompaniment by the Brazilian organist Walter Wanderley. The melancholy urgency of the piece resonates well with the dark/sad tonality that pervades so much of Bossa Nova music, though its character is also reminiscent of certain otherwise very different pieces from the bebop era, which had a formative influence on Quincy Jones' music. There is definitely the remote influence of Charlie Parker and especially Dizzy Gillespie. It's truly a completely unique piece. The drifting melody which seems to skirt over the chord changes has a beautiful inevitability. Only a very gifted and skilled musician could have contrived such a beautiful work. So Quincy Jones deserves especial credit for crafting this song from the film "The Deadly Affair."

Astrud's delivery, so typically limpid and restrained, only serves to heighten the intensity of this darkly passionate song. The subtle but somehow fierce organ playing of Walter Wanderley acheives a sizzling romanticism that perfectly complements the reading of Astrud's apparently detached fatalism.

In my opinion, this track is a true musical masterpiece. Its remarkable economy of means is a testament to the skill of the composer as well as the artistry of the performers. In fact, it's a nearly perfect combination of expressive means and poetic intent. The beautiful resolution, with Astrud's perfect striking of the high B-flat over the half-diminished F-minor seventh, is a moment of sublime dramatic intensity, though profoundly understated, as is typical of her finest artistic moments. One is reminded of Miles Davis. Her poetic skill is rooted in subtlety.

I have listened to this extraordinary track hundreds of times, and always experienced chills rising up on the back of my neck. How amazing that this incredible musical gem was omitted from the original album A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness. Perhaps it was too intense, too heavy; whatever the case, it's a truly remarkable piece of music.

I'm truly grateful to have discovered this great albeit minor musical masterpiece. There's really nothing else quite like it! The sizzling but subtle sensitivity of the rhythm section (Claudio Slon on drums, possibly Joao Gilberto on guitar and Jose Marino on bass) adds an intensity to the piece which helps project the almost existential tone of the song.

I'm really swept away by this obscure and neglected work, which attains -- for me at least -- to a peak of poetic intensity really rare in music. As is usual with Astrud at her best, it accomplishes its artistic ends with what seems like the most minimal of means. But subtlety is always the avenue to the most profound of artistic experiences. I think this is a remarkable example -- one of the greatest -- of the wedding of popular music and high art. It is a truly perfect performance. In my opinion, its greatness increases rather than diminshes with repeated listenings. There is only one word for that -- it's magic!

from A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness (Verve 314 557 449-2), available on CD



  09 Jan 04 ·rio: you must pick-up the quincy jones soundtrack (released with the score to "the pawnbroker") with astrud singing "who needs forever". The lush quincy jones score is hauntingly beautiful, and astrud never sounded better. This version is the real deal for me..
  11 Oct 08 ·rferus: Amazing guitar on this piece.
Iím Hip  performed by Blossom Dearie  1979
Recommended by missewon [profile]

This has been recorded by several others, including versions by both Dave Frishberg and Bob Dorough, the composers, but Blossom's version is the best! It swings!

fave part:
I dig! I'm in step.
When it was hip to be hep, I was hep.
I don't blow but I'm a fan.
Look at me swing. Ring a ding ding.
I even call my girlfriend "man," I'm so hip.

from Needlepoint Magic, Vol. 5 (Daffodil)
available on CD - The Diva Series - Blossom Dearie (Verve)



  11 Jun 04 ·mattias: yes, she's hip. There is a great version of this song on Blossoms album simply called 1975 (Daffodil, vol. II),, unfortunally not reissued on CD.
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