One afternoon at Jazz at Chautauqua (mid-September 2009) I was walking through the musicians’ room — no doubt on my way to ask someone a question — when I was stopped abruptly by the unexpected and beautiiful sound of a man quietly crooning a song, accompanying himself on the guitar. I didn’t know him but when he came to a halt I introduced myself, said how much I admired his singing, and asked if he would like me to capture an impromptu performance for my readers. Happily, he said yes. His name is Edward Lovett; he lives in New York; he admires early Crosby and the “transitional singers” of the late Twenties, without imitating them. He reminds me very much of that old-time ideal of making lovely music all on your own — a Jazz Age troubadour, ready to serenade his lady with Carmichael and Porter.
I asked him what song he would like to offer, and we settled on STARDUST, with the verse. I apologize for the rippling-waters accompaniment, but Edward’s performance was so complete that I did not want to ask for a retake. Just imagine that Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm is rehearsing nearby:
Then he revealed previously unknown talents as a satirical contemporary lyricist — beginning his rendition of YOU’RE THE TOP with Porter’s verse before launching into three choruses full of nimble rhymes and social commentary:
If he isn’t Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, I don’t know the art of intimate singing. And Petra van Nuis and Andy Brown, in the audience, agreed with me wholeheartedly (they know!).