Although I am seriously romantic, I am not terribly interested in the flurry of gas-station roses and GMO candy that marks February 14 as Valentine’s Day. But I do love MY FUNNY VALENTINE, and I thought it very sweetly appropriate that pianist Larry Ham, bassist Chris Haney, and drummer Klaus Suonsaari played it at Sofia’s several nights before it would be the anthem du jour. Here is their soulful rendition, with Larry’s fascinating harmonies reminding me of Jimmy Rowles; Chris spinning quietly eloquent lines; Klaus making those wire brushes whisper and cajole. Great music for romantics any day in the year!
Song scholars will know this, but MY FUNNY VALENTINE was originally performed in the Rodgers and Hart musical BABES IN ARMS . . . sung to “Val,” or Valentine — by the young woman who cheerfully enumerates his flaws but wants him to keep them. I didn’t know that “Valentine” was originally played by Ray Heatherton, famous in my time as someone appearing on children’s records and later as the MC of the Long Island, New York BREAKFAST CLUB. If only I had known about his past lives when I encountered him in 1974, I could have asked him . . .
This one’s for the Beloved, who occupies the position of Valentine so securely that I cancelled any other auditions shortly after we met . . .