I was very moved by the duet Marc Caparone, cornet, and Conal Fowkes, piano, created on November 24, 2018, at the San Diego Jazz Fest — a passionate improvisation on Russ Columbo’s PRISONER OF LOVE. And I wanted to share it with you.
But first I have to say, with a grin, that the internet teaches you things you didn’t expect: the title PRISONER OF LOVE brings up a variety of tattoos, a book by Jean Genet, recordings by Perry Como, Coleman Hawkins, James Brown, Billy Eckstine, and Tiny Tim . . . when all I wanted was this, first the Columbo version so you could hear the lyrics.
The magnificent 1956 Lester Young – Teddy Wilson – Gene Ramey – Jo Jones recording you can and find for yourself.
Incidentally, Columbo is listed as sole composer on the HMV issue above, but Leo Robin is also credited with the rather masochistic lyrics, and I’ve seen the name of Clarence Gaskill added as well:
How lovely he sounds! (I wonder which version Lester was inspired by.) But here are Conal and Marc, creating another passionate expression of what Louis called “Tonation and Phrasing”:
Their version is absolutely beautiful: a small triumph of passion and control, of empathy and expertise.
May your happiness increase!