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best/classic versions of "What's New?"


cannonball-addict
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I'm sitting here at the office unable to get the Coltrane version of "What's New?" (The Gentle Side of John Coltrane) out of my head. Can anyone recommend some good versions - preferrably from vinyl since I'm sitting right next to an amazing vinyl collection. I should be asking this everyday about a new song but I didn't think of it til now.

Peace,

Matt

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Nate's Shelly Manne suggestion is a good one, if a bit offbeat. But why not check out the original?

Bob Haggart's tune featured the trumpet of 21-year-old Billy Butterfield with the Bob Crosby Orchestra on Decca with the original title of "I'm Free", title changed to match later lyrics. (Rec. NYC, Oct. 19, 1938).

It's on CD, GRP GRD-615 but I don't know whether you have it in your 'amazing vinyl collection'.

(You can't get it any longer, and it was only ever on vinyl, but I produced a lovely solo piano version by Dick Wellstood recorded "Live at Cafe des Copains" May 29, 1985 Unisson DDA 1003).

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There is a swinging version of What's New on the relatively-obscure-but-excellent Dexter side called A Day in Copenhagen. The front line features Dex with Dizzy Reece and Slide Hampton (who did all of the outstanding arrangements on this recording from 1969).

If you don't have this one I highly recommend seeking it out. :)

Edit: ....and another one I just thought of is on Jack Wilkins' You Can't Live Without It, a straight ahead date with the Brecker Bros.

Another very tasty session worth hearing.

Also, John Fedchock did a nice chart on it for Woody's band. Bone feature of course! :g

Edited by Free For All
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Here's a trivia question for you, gentlemen:

What's New is a tune where the bridge is the same as the "A" section, but up a fourth. Can anyone think of any other jazz tunes that share this characteristic?

Ascension? :lol:

:D

I was going to guess "Composition No. 123 for Solo Flute, Environment and Slide Projector"...

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Here's a trivia question for you, gentlemen:

What's New is a tune where the bridge is the same as the "A" section, but up a fourth. Can anyone think of any other jazz tunes that share this characteristic?

... and, if memory serves, the theme songs to the TV shows "Dallas" and "The Waltons." :excited:

Edited by DukeCity
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The classic Billie Holiday version (with Barney Kessel on guitar and Benny Carter on alto) on Verve...

.. and even if I love the Jackie Mc Lean version of the tune on 'Swing, Swang, Swinging' I still prefer Jackie Mac's earlier version on the 'Makin' the Changes' album.

Also the Armstrong/Peterson version (Paul Secor already mentioned that one, of course!).

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The only two I can think of without having to think about it are Sinatra's on Only The Lonely & Chico Hamilton's from Chic Chic Chico.

The Sinatra is about as good as it gets, and the Chico thing is sublime, what with it being a quartet of Szabo, Stinson and, no, not Charles Lloyd, but Harold Land.

Plenty of other good versions, but those are the two for me.

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The two that spring to mind for me (or three now) are Konitz's version with Mehldau and Haden on Blue Note; cant't remember which disc it's on -- the first with the V shaped stripes on the cover I think.

Sinatra's off Only The Lonely --- harrowing

Louis and Ella on Verve.

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