Marty Grosz doesn’t necessarily believe in the lyrics of the love songs he chooses (although he can croon most tenderly) but he does return to this one, a swing perennial for bands and singers, and I for one am glad.
This song is apparently c0-written by the mysterious Rob Williams, Alex Hill and Claude Hopkins (my money’s on Mr. Hill, whose memorable tunes often had lyrics that told of unfulfilled romantic yearning). It states one wild promise of devotion after another — things imagined only by Edgar Rice Burroughs — but all in the conditional — “I would do,” and some versions have become even more cautious: I WOULD DO MOST ANYTHING FOR YOU. Is this an “if-then” construction, or is it “I’ll do this if YOU do that?” It sounds like uptown seventeenth-century poetry, and perhaps I would feel more confident if its title were I WILL DO. But let us clear our minds and enjoy the frolicsome sounds rather than lingering too long on how we would respond if these tokens of affection were offered to us.
Our mellow sermon for today comes from the delightful enterprise known as Jazz at Chautauqua when I first made my way to it in September 2004 — a weekend cornucopia of music where I met many heroes, made new friends, and was eventually accepted as someone doing good things for the music. And what music!
More than many jazz parties, Chautauqua put people onstage who didn’t have the opportunity to perform together, and the results were often magical. As in this case: a little band led by Marty, with Scott Robinson playing, among other instruments, his alto clarinet; Andy Schumm on cornet; Kerry Lewis on string bass and Pete Siers on drums making up a delicately unstoppable rhythm team. Pay particular attention to Mr. Siers — someone who should be acclaimed worldwide as a flawlessly swinging versatile percussionist, a maker of great sounds.
They certainly rock, don’t they? More to come from the JAZZ LIVES vaults, I assure you. For the moment, find someone to profess love to, with or without Marty to provide the soundtrack.
May your happiness increase!
I’m a big fan of Marty. I saw him several times in the UK and memorably in Nice in 1975. Hope he’s keeping well.