Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust"
Hoagy Carmichael wrote Stardust in 1927 with lyrics added in 1929 by Mitchell Parish.
Stardust is imho a perfect song in spite of and maybe because it is so simple. That simplicity has allowed hundreds of artist to preform the song in their own unique style.
Which brings us to the point of the thread; what's your favorite version of this classic song?
This is the earliest recording I've found with the lyrics.
My own favorite version depends on what I'm listening to at the time. This one is always near the top.
Lots of black and white movies on the tube when I was a kid. Maybe one of the records my parents had.
I didn't get into older jazz till I bought some Dorsey Brothers cassettes as a present for the folks and dubbed copies for myself. One of the songs was Stardust with some skinny Italian kid doing the vocals.
Perhaps it's the simplicity of the melody that permits so much overlaying riffs. Tickles my brain to make the connections.
He was called the King of Jazz, but most of his takes are really sweetened up. But we have to give him props because he did make jazz popular with a lot of people and his band had some of the greatest musicians of the time.
One of the things I like about the Tatum version is that Art plays it so lyrically. Usually Art is a Monster that plays more notes than there are on the keyboard. But here he takes his time and lets the melody lead.
- Hoagy's version is the standard.- No joke ?
Tatum's overreach obliterates the work's integrity.
But even Carmichael played the song differently from one recording to the next. Here he plays with the melody and the time is much more legato.
Tatum did work the chords with Stardust as he did with all his songs, though less so here. Obliterates seems a too strong word, because the song does act as an anchor to Tatum's flights and it remains to the end.
Similarly John Coltrane and friends play all around the melody, but it is the melody that gives them structure. That is the strength of the song. It can be bent to the performers whim and it still shines through.
And here we have a take on the song by Dave Brubeck.
What is a songs integrity? Are we wed to the key and time signature on the sheet? How many trills and grace notes, how many places on the circle of fifths can we go, before we break the song?
Louie Armstrong once said there are only two types of music; good and bad.