What follows captures one of those magic times when the song, the title, the performance, and the performers can all be described in the same phrase.
The song, to many of us, is associated forever with Jimmy Dorsey — his last hit –but it was a pop hit in 1937.
The simple melody line has made it adaptable to all kinds of improvisers: there is an airshot by the Benny Goodman trio when it was new, and later performances by Ella Fitzgerald, Mose Allison, Anthony Braxton, and the duo of Jimmie Rowles and Joe Pass.
But I submit that the version that is now forever in my mind and heart is this one, created by Gabrielle Stravelli and Michael Kanan on February 8 of this year at The Drawing Room, 56 Willoughby Street, in Brooklyn.
Gabrielle introduces it in a touching, light-hearted way (while Michael plays gorgeously behind her) and then transforms the song. No longer simply a piece of nostalgia, it becomes the most warm expression of happy praise and exultant joy from one lover to another. Love never ages:
Isn’t that marvelous? The dark beauty of Gabrielle’s voice, moving from the casually spoken to the eloquently full-throated, and the moving subtleties Michael always creates. And that steady sweet patient tempo.
I offer another masterpiece from that evening — and there were many — here.
I propose that music like this — delicate, haunting, elegant, deep — is indeed so rare.
And I send thanks to Gabrielle’s parents.
May your happiness increase!