What are You Doing New Year's Eve? Frank Loesser listening and remembering Pee Wee Ellis

That's it from marlbank for 2021. All that's left to ask is 'What are You Doing New Year's Eve?' The Frank Loesser song was first recorded in 1947 by Kay Kyser and His Orchestra and later in the year by Margaret Whiting. Ella Fitzgerald from this …

Published: 31 Dec 2021. Updated: 27 days.

That's it from marlbank for 2021. All that's left to ask is 'What are You Doing New Year's Eve?' The Frank Loesser song was first recorded in 1947 by Kay Kyser and His Orchestra and later in the year by Margaret Whiting. Ella Fitzgerald from this distance probably did the best-known version recording the song in 1960 followed by Nancy Wilson in 1963 as did Patti LaBelle the same year. Lena Horne, Lou Rawls riffing on 'Auld Lang Syne' in his very groovy, ultra swinging horn-soaked treatment and Johnny Mathis all followed in their footsteps before the end of the decade was through.

In more recent years Diana Krall did a wonderfully subtle treatment with the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra back in 2005 as did Clare Teal in 2013 with the late Pee Wee Ellis. Let's go with that last version, audio, top, in a very fine and mellow arrangement partly in memory of Pee Wee who died at the age of 80 back in September.

  • Clare Teal is performing with Ian Shaw (who also sees in the New Year at the Vortex tonight) in a great double act billing coming up in London's Pizza Express Jazz Club on 27 January

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Album of the year for 2021 – Solotude

The antithesis of bustle, the definition instead of serenity. Serious music that is not overly-portentous containing that ''spiritual'' sense you only get when an artist of Ibrahim's magnitude performs. Stocked full of familiar pieces including …

Published: 31 Dec 2021. Updated: 28 days.

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The antithesis of bustle, the definition instead of serenity. Serious music that is not overly-portentous containing that ''spiritual'' sense you only get when an artist of Ibrahim's magnitude performs. Stocked full of familiar pieces including 'The Wedding', 'Blues for a Hip King' and 'Blue Bolero' no one does stateliness better than the South African jazz icon, now 87. ''My journey, my vision'' it says below the title on the cover. Recorded last year at the Hirzinger Hall in the small Bavarian town of Riedering Solotude is a hymn of concentration and a communing with an ancient sense that is quite touching on many occasions – gentle exclamations, moans and spontaneous rumbles, from Ibrahim sometimes the only companion to the sound of piano.

No jazz musician alive is as Ellingtonian as Ibrahim. It's the sheer touch and the quality of the compositions often notable for their simplicity for instance ‘Blue Bolero' in addition to that weight and mastery of timing he shares with Duke, that works like the most benign of charms. There is so much grace throughout it's part of the spell. A late-period masterwork that speaks to the listener on a personal, human, level.

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