“PRISONER OF LOVE”: MARC CAPARONE and CONAL FOWKES at the SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (November 24, 2018)

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!

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5 responses to ““PRISONER OF LOVE”: MARC CAPARONE and CONAL FOWKES at the SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (November 24, 2018)

  1. Thanks Michael. Never heard that before. When listening, I can’t help hearing Crosby’s version, especially in Columbo’s’ vocalese chorus. I have never known who influenced whom, since I have little interest in vocalists. But you can educate me, as always!

  2. And it won’t surprise you — since you know me — that I think Louis stands behind them and a little off to the side on that chorus.

  3. Very nice playing by two of my favorite musicianers. NICE! as Mr. Allen would say!

    Regarding Mr. Pomeroy’s comment, I believe Columbo was playing violin in Gus Arnheim’s Orchestra when Bing was vocalist, so it would be reasonable to assume Russ was influenced by Bing. Certainly Columbo’s singing style changed from his earliest vocal attempts, like that on Arnheim’s “Back in Your Own Backyard.”

    Thanks for posting, Michael.

  4. Don ""Zoot" Conner

    Thanks for the post,Michael.I’ve always loved this tune and yes I have Lester’s 1956 version with Teddy,Jo and Gene.This was Lester’s last “Strong” record.As for Marc I believe he’s right up there with other great cornetists,his soul and technique are marvelous.And Danny Tobias will be added to that list in the near future.

  5. Pingback: THE ART OF THE DUET: MARC CAPARONE / CONAL FOWKES at the SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (Nov. 24, 2018) | JAZZ LIVES

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