I would guess that most folks of my generation think that a big percentage of modern music stars seem to be a big deal today but are forgotten tomorrow, often because of a lack of talent. But there are exceptions, even if it takes a while for a geezer like me to catch on — like when I first heard Amy Winehouse.
Because of her troubled life and senseless death we’ll never know how her career would have played out, but when I first saw her video duet with Tony Bennett on “Body And Soul” I was floored. And the memory of that experience has led me to choose that song — the most recorded jazz standard ever — as the subject of today’s Fantastic Foursome.
The song, with melody by Johnny Green and lyrics by several collaborators, was originally written for Gertrude Lawrence to perform in London. It soon crossed the Atlantic and made its U.S. debut in a 1930 Broadway show called Three’s A Crowd. That same year, it was recorded by almost a dozen jazz groups and vocalists, becoming a standard almost overnight.
Below the video are four different versions, and a poll thingy that will allow you to pick your favorite.
Benny Carter — Billie Holiday — Django Reinhardt — Frank Sinatra