Just One of Those Things

I think this Cole Porter song has been sung by literally every single jazz singer who ever lived. That may be hyperbole, but it feels right. The list goes on and on, and with so many to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Picking between Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Shirley Bassey, Maurice Chevalier, Kirsty MacColl, Nellie McKay, Ella Fitzgerald, Bryan Ferry, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Judy Garland, Diana Krall, and too many other to mention is a tough task. If you’re a jazzbo, you know that each and every one of those people bring their own touch to it. For the uninitiated, it may all sound like much the same thing endlessly repeated. I’m not a true fanatic, but I can distinguish the styles of my favorite artists. Nonetheless, I wasn’t able to listen to every version of this song – I got bored after two or three. In this case, I prefer the more upbeat renditions. It’s an interesting song lyrically, in that it’s a breakup song with a positive message. It’s a song for shrugging off your heartache and moving on, and it begs for a little swing. For that I like the sassiness of Peggy Lee, who always had a bit of a winky bad girl vibe. And of course, I always gravitate towards Ella Fitzgerald. Ella’s vocal prowess can’t be beat, and she always sounded as if she was enjoying herself, even when she sang very sad songs. Those are just two great perfromances, and there are dozens of others that are equally good, if you want to spend an afternoon listening to the same song over and over.

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