Both Louis and Bing recorded this wonderfully emotional song in 1931, as did the Boswell Sisters and Sam Wooding. In the decade to come, Red Norvo, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Mundy, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, Bob Zurke and Joe Rushton, Harry James, Bobby Hackett, Wild Bill Davison, Frank Trumbauer, Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum. And that’s only its first decade, and only those performances that were recorded.
But we are also concerned with the more recent present — since I call this blog, with full intent, JAZZ LIVES. On November 30, 2014, a stellar ad hoc small band under the leadership of pianist, vocalist, composer, and fantasist Ray Skjelbred took the stand at the San Diego Jazz Fest, and performed this song.
Before they begin (after the little whimsical 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert interlude) — you can hear someone, perhaps Marc, warping its title into I SEE RENDERED DEER, but this is America and freedom of speech is said to prevail. The other nobilities on the stand are Hal Smith, drums; Beau Sample, string bass; Katie Cavera, guitar; Marc Caparone, cornet; Jim Buchmann, clarinet and saxello:
The mood, for those who know their antecedents, is more Boyce Brown – Wild Bill Davison (“The Collector’s Item Cats”) than Bing. But for those who haven’t had enough of this lovely song in its natural habitat, here is something rare and, even better, complete. Bing starred in several Mack Sennett shorts early in his career, often appearing as himself and delighting in the slapstick and broad verbal comedy. Here is I SURRENDER, DEAR:
May your happiness increase!