Thursday, June 1, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “All Or Nothing At All”


“All Or Nothing At All” was written in 1939 by Arthur Altman with lyrics by Jack Lawrence. It was recorded that year by Frank Sinatra and The Harry James Orchestra, but not released until 1943, during a musician’s strike. Sinatra said this song got them fired from the Club Victor Hugo, and that it was the song he auditioned with for Tommy Dorsey. Here is the original, which is not in the running (meaning any votes for it will be ignored). You’ll understand why in a moment.

This has become a standard over the years, recorded by hundreds of artists, including the three lovely ladies who will be competing in this battle. Listen to the three versions and decide which of them you like the best.

CONTESTANT #1: Sarah Vaughan From her 1962 album Sarah + 2, where she was accompanied by Barney Kessel on guitar and Joe Comfort on double bass.

CONTESTANT #2: June Christy From 2000’s A Friendly Session, Vol. 1 with the Johnny Guarnieri Quartet.

CONTESTANT #3: Billie Holiday Title track from her 1958 album. The band included Joe Mondragon (bass), Alvin Stoller (drums), Barney Kessel (guitar), Jimmy Rowles (piano), Ben Webster (tenor sax), and Harry Edison (trumpet).

So, you know the drill: listen to all three versions, decide which is your favorite, and vote for it in the comments. Then, go over to Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands page, where he has a list of other participants, and visit their Battles. I’ll announce the winner of today’s battle next Thursday, June 8, so be sure and cast your vote before then.

The lines are now open. Best of luck to Sassy, June, and Lady Day!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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