“She’ll Have You Doing Things That Ain’t Right, Son”


Was there anyone cooler than Louis Jordan? Wild singer, saxophonist, songwriter, and bandleader who also had dance moves of elegance and wit to compare with Fred Astaire. Monday morning, the call goes out to “Caldonia.”

Thanks to YouTuber vintage video clips

‘S Wonderful: Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis, Jr.


There were giants in those days. Monday morning, the Gershwin brother’s standard, sung by two greats. According to the pre-performance chit-chat, this was the first time the two had sung together.

Thanks to YouTuber rockinhillbillies



Monday morning, you hit the jackpot: Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, and Sarah Vaughn. As far as I know, this 1979 television special, All-Star Salute To Pearl Bailey, is the only time they had all sung together publicly.

The medley includes:

Stompin at the Savoy
Don’t Mean a Thing
Sweet Georgia Brown

Thanks to YouTuber newstart2009

Hard Work


The alarm clock rings Monday, and you’re ready to tote that barge, lift that bale.  John Handy’s 1976 surprise hit jazz recording in its original longer album version.

  • John Handy – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, vocals
  • Hotep Cecil Barnard – keyboards
  • Mike Hoffmann – guitar
  • Chuck Rainey – electric bass
  • James Gadson – drums
  • Eddie “Bongo” Brown – congas, percussion

Thanks to YouTuber Marc Leroy

Jump The Blues Away


Because desperate times call for desperate measures, Monday morning we overcome the blues by leaping and bounding out of bed into the arms of  Paul Quinichette on tenor sax.

When I was a college student I would often go to the West End bar near Columbia University to listen to the Brooks Kerr trio. A young Phil Schapp was the host, and an equally young prodigy, Brooks Kerr, played a very tasteful stride piano, but it was the saxophone player, Paul Quinichette, who absolutely tore up the place every time.

Thanks to Youtuber rujazzka

All The Things You Are: Sonny Stitt



Monday morning you wake up in a panic and realize it’s been more than a year since you posted another version of “All The Things You Are.” (For other versions I’ve posted, see here, here, here, and here)

So, another great take here:

Sonny Stitt – alto & tenor saxophone
Joe Newman – trumpet
Duke Jordan – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Roy Brooks – drum

She’s Come Undone




Burton Cummings of the Guess Who does a great vocal on his bandmate Randy Bachman’s quirky and evocative song. Some may recall the story of Diane Linkletter…

Something Cool


According to Ever-Reliable Wikipedia, after her death, June Christy was called “one of the finest and most neglected singers of her time.” I only stumbled across her songs this week, and I’m really surprised I hadn’t known of her before that.

To me, she is reminiscent of Rosemary Clooney, Keely Smith, and also Anita O’Day, who she replaced as singer for the Stan Kenton Orchestra. The melancholy bar song, “Something Cool” was one of her biggest hits.

Thanks to YouTuber MexicoCityFood

After The Fall: David Amram



David Amram’s impossibly beautiful waltz from “After The Fall,” with Paquito D’Rivera on saxophone.

The piece was composed for use in the original Elia Kazan stage production of Arthur Miller’s play After The Fall.

Thanks to YouTuber newportclassic

Monday Morning Music Maven: David Amram


Monday morning, Mama nixes making music, but that doesn’t stop David Amram and company.

Has there ever been a musician more accomplished in so many fields of music than David Amram? Whether it be in folk music, classical, jazz, or even movie scores (Splendor in The Grass and The Manchurian Candidate were his compositions), he’s been an eclectic, generous presence.

Here he is playing a musical introduction at the Philadelphia Folk Festival with Larry Campbell  on guitar, Erik Lawrence on sax, Somoko on violin, and Amram’s son, Adam, on drums. Be sure to catch Amram playing two pennywhistles at 4:25.

Amram is about eighty years old in this video and still making great music now at age 87.

Thanks to YouTuber Ky Hote

Fake News, 1930s Style


Monday, and knee deep in alternative facts. This Yip Harburg-Harold Arlen song spills the beans.

Nat King Cole was such a great singer that sometimes people forget that he started out as a first-class jazz pianist, as you can see on his piano solo here.

Reunald Jones on trumpet, John Collins on guitar.

Thanks to YouTuber Johnny Brown


Don’t Explain: Billie Holiday


Billie Holiday performed this song throughout her career, but I especially like this 1956 live version, which has much less of an intrusive orchestral backing than the studio Decca recordings of the 40s had. I think this was the first Billie Holiday song I ever heard, and it remains one of my favorites.

Thanks to YouTuber RoundMidnightTV

Blue and Sentimental


Monday morning says a few more minutes lying in bed, staring at the ceiling fan, wondering what happened.

Count Basie, piano

Herschel Evans, Tenor Sax

Lester Young, Clarinet

Jo Jones, drums

I first encountered this piece while acting in a production of Lorraine Hansberry’s The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. I had to dance drunkenly in the dark to this.

Thanks to YouTuber Rick Russell