Friday, September 18, 2009
Billie Holiday - Life Begins When You're in Love
Available on Amazon, EMusic, and iTunes.
This is basically just another Billie Holiday record, with backing from Teddy Wilson & his orchestra.
Which is to say, it's great, charming, everything that I love about old jazz. I mention it because I played it at the end of the night a few weeks ago, and thought it was a nice note to end on. I usually DJ the early set at Fizz, passing things off to another DJ at 11:00 p.m. who keeps things rolling, so I seldom have to pick out a song to end the night on. Back when I lived in Boston, the DJ at one of the regular dances ALWAYS played Lou Rawls as the last song of the night. Like clockwork. When I do have to pick a closer, I usually like to go with something a little upbeat and/or catchy to put a spring in people's step when they leave (and just in case anyone isn't totally worn out at the end of the night). I'd be curious to hear from other DJ's--do you do anything particular? Or just keep rolling as you would normally, until the clock runs out?
I like this particular track for the end of the night because of the mood it leaves you with. I also like that it opens with instrumentals: we get a nice trumpet solo from Chris Griffin (from the Benny Goodman big band) and brief saxophone response before the vocal comes in, nearly a minute into the song. The beginning is all janky, and then Billie's vocal comes in very stretched out and languid, creating a nice contrast. Then after the verse, we get longer statements from the tenor sax (Teddy McRae), piano (Teddy Wilson), and clarinet (Rudy Powell), and the whole thing resolves quickly. And that's it for tonight.
Hat-tip to Alex Protopopescu on SwingDJs for the personnel information. In addition to the soloists mentioned above, the track has John Trueheart on guitar, Grachan Moncur on bass, and Cozy Cole on the drums.