Few of the tracks in this compilation “express enthusiasm”, one definition of ‘lyrical’. However, as a descriptive adjective for jazz standards which started out as instrumentals but later had lyrics (words) added it seems ok to me.
Bobby Timmons, a pianist in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers for two periods in the late 50’s and early 60’s Moanin’, and Jon Hendricks (now aged 94) wrote the lyrics. Hendricks is credited with creating ‘vocalese‘ with the group Lambert, Hendicks and Ross. Georgie Fame continues to cover their music.
Blue In Green is a track on Miles Davis’ album Kind Of Blue released in 1959. Whether it was written by Miles or the pianist Bill Evans is a matter of conjecture, but as Evans was the pianist on the original recording, maybe it’s best to call it a Davis/Evans composition. Cassandra Wilson wrote the lyrics for her version.
Written in 1944, and possibly earlier, by Thelonius Monk, Round About Midnight is one of the most covered songs in music history. Monk himself recorded it many times. Robert Wyatt’s version is possibly the most compelling of the dozen or so versions I have in my archives.
Benny Golson, tenor saxophonist in Art Blakey’s Hazz Messengers, wrote Whisper Not in 1956. “I wrote it in Boston at George Wein’s Storyville club when I was with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band. I wrote that tune in 20 minutes.” Leonard Feather, who was born in London, wrote the lyrics for Ella Fitzgerald in 1966.
Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays have written many memorable tunes. September 15th is from their 1981 album As Falls Wichita, so Falls Wichita Falls. The date is a reference to the day Bill Evans died a year earlier. Mark Murphy‘s lyrics are in tune with the sentiment, and Larry Coryell on guitar doesn’t stray either.
“Music stays no matter who goes away.”
01. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’
02. Georgie Fame – Moanin’
03. Miles Davis – Blue In Green
04. Cassandra Wilson – Blue In Green
05. Thelonious Monk – ‘Round About Midnight
06. Robert Wyatt – Round Midnight
07. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Whisper Not
08. Mel Tormé – Whisper Not
09. Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays – September 15th
10. Mark Murphy – September 15th