This battle featured Fred Fisher’s 1922 song, “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” as performed by three excellent combos from three different eras in jazz. Paul Whiteman (“The King of Jazz,” according to Duke Ellington) and his Orchestra did the song the year it was written, giving it a solid “Roaring Twenties” dance-band sound; The Quintet of the Hot Club of Paris, featuring Django Reinhardt’s Gypsy guitar and Stephane Grappelli’s violin, put a lot of swing and improvisation into their interpretation; and Oscar Peterson’s trio, featuring Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums, took the song out for an extended ride in a live performance from the early 1960’s.
This was a good battle, according to many of you, and the closeness of the vote bears that out. So close, in fact, that Whiteman and his Orchestra tied with Peterson’s trio. For second. The final tally:
Quintet of the Hot Club of France: 5
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra: 3
Oscar Peterson: 3
As always, congratulations to the Quintet, and to the others, good show.
I don’t vote in my battles; I like all the versions of the songs I feature, and would have a hard time choosing between the contestants. As a musician, Django had the most influence on me, and it would be easy to say that they would be my choice. But I’m not going to do that. I like all three renderings of this song pretty much equally. Each of them represents its time well.
I’m planning an “original versus cover” battle for next week. Hope to see you there.