HANNA, PHIL, AND STEFAN: “TENOR MADNESS” (Feb. 2010)

Singer Hanna Richardson is understated yet compelling (and a swinger on the electric tenor guitar); her husband, bassist Phil Flanigan, is a player Whitney Balliett thought had some of Jimmy Blanton’s “Listen!” quality about him.  Here they are joined in concert by the nimble French pianist Stefan Vasnier, who has a good deal of Nat Cole’s precise gaiety in his work:

Here’s an intent but easy-rocking THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU:

And a little-known song (the only version I know is Mildred Bailey’s) about that intriguing creature, the intoxicating nerd — WHAT HAVE YOU GOT THAT GETS ME?:

And as a finale (Hanna says she couldn’t resist it) the late-Thirties epic with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, SHOW YOUR LINEN, MISS RICHARDSON:

These three performances come from the folkswaggoner channel on YouTube: well worth a second and third look!  (I see that they’ve just posted a swinging, witty HE AIN’T GOT RHYTHM . . . perhaps there’ll be even more to come.)

7 responses to “HANNA, PHIL, AND STEFAN: “TENOR MADNESS” (Feb. 2010)

  1. Intiguing, rare songs done honestly and with finesse. Kudos. Me likey! oh, yes.

  2. Dear Michael,
    [Take -2.]
    Regarding the song, “What Have You Got That Gets Me?” (Leo Robin – Ralph Rainger). On the day Mildred Bailey recorded this for Vocalion in New York on 14th September 1938, Benny Goodman (with Martha Tilton) put it down for Victor in Chicago. On 19th October the Bob Crosby Orch (with Marion Mann ) recorded it for Decca. Featured in the forgettable 1938 Jack Benny, Joan Bennett Paramount film musical “Artists and Models Abroad” we can only assume that, with three cover versions, somebody was hoping for a hit.
    Very kind regards,
    Bill.
    PS: While on the subject of the same tune being recorded at the same time in different cities, an interesting one I discovered (when I wuz a very young discographer) is “Goose Pimples” (Trent-Henderson).
    Recorded as follows:
    24th Oct. 1927. Fletcher Henderson & His Orch in New York.
    25th Oct. 1927. Bix and His Gang, also in New York.
    26th Oct. 1927. New Orleans Owls in New Orleans.

  3. Dear Bill,

    Obviously I should have checked with you first! I hadn’t remembered that this song was a Robin-Rainger creation (in fairness, its cleverness owes more to the lyric than to the melody, I think) but I thought it was much more obscure than you’ve pointed out. Have you seen Bob Inman’s SWING ERA SCRAPBOOK where he documents the same thing happening — the descent of the song pluggers — where a new song of no great value gets played by every band on their radio broadcast for a week’s time (and is even recorded by a few bands) then sinks back into deserved obscurity? The question for us — in those pre-internet and pre-express mail days — is how the N. O. Owls got a copy of GOOSE PIMPLES, even though it’s not exactly a complex line? Best (and thanks!) Michael

  4. I love the way her clear and clean voice floats over the instrumental music.

  5. Bill Gallagher

    Perhaps I would get to church more often if I knew that this trio was playing at my church.

  6. Dear Michael,
    Part of your reply said “I hadn’t remembered that this song was a Robin-Rainger creation …….but I thought it was much more obscure than you’ve pointed out.” What I was also going to mention, but held back, was that the song was also a feature for Marion Hutton with the Glenn Miller Orch at this time and, during Dec 1938 – Jan 1939, was broadcast from the Paradise Restaurant by NBC at least 4 times. Three versions are on CD (I have one).
    I certainly agree with your comment “in fairness, its cleverness owes more to the lyric than to the melody”, although the melody IS catchy, as singer/guitarist Hanna Richardson so aptly demonstrates on the video accompanying this blog .
    I’ve also just played the 4 original renditions (Mildred, BG, Crosby and Miller). Mildred’s singing shines, but the other girls aren’t too bad either, as we know. The Crosby swings the best, but the BG arrangement (by Edgar Sampson) it better all round.
    PS: I don’t have the “Swing Era Scrapbook”. Should I?
    Very kind regards,
    Bill.

  7. Yes! I was reluctant to buy it, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it, but spent a week with it glued to my face. It’s addictive, seemingly inexhaustible. Cheers, Michael

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