Various Artists – The Great Jazz Vocalists Sing The Gershwin Songbook (1992)

FrontCover1What a wonderful complication:

George Gershwin  born Jacob Gershwine; September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American pianist and composer, whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs “Swanee” (1919) and “Fascinating Rhythm” (1924), the jazz standards “Embraceable You” (1928) and “I Got Rhythm” (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), which included the hit “Summertime”.


Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell, and Joseph Brody. He began his career as a song plugger but soon started composing Broadway theater works with his brother Ira Gershwin and with Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris, intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, but she refused him, afraid that rigorous classical study would ruin his jazz-influenced style; Maurice Ravel voiced similar objections when Gershwin inquired on studying with him. He subsequently composed An American in Paris, returned to New York City and wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, it came to be considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century and an American cultural classic.


Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores. He died in 1937 of a brain tumor. His compositions have been adapted for use in film and television, with many becoming jazz standards.

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Ira Gershwin (born Israel Gershovitz; December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs in the English language of the 20th century. With George, he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows, featuring songs such as “I Got Rhythm”, “Embraceable You”, “The Man I Love” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”. He was also responsible, along with DuBose Heyward, for the libretto to George’s opera Porgy and Bess.


The success the Gershwin brothers had with their collaborative works has often overshadowed the creative role that Ira played. His mastery of songwriting continued after George’s early death in 1937. Ira wrote additional hit songs with composers Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill, Harry Warren and Harold Arlen. His critically acclaimed 1959 book Lyrics on Several Occasions, an amalgam of autobiography and annotated anthology, is an important source for studying the art of the lyricist in the golden age of American popular song. (wikipedia)

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And here´s this wonderful compilation:

In the pantheon of jazz singers, the great tunes of George and Ira Gershwin have always been favorites. Special vocalists can make these compositions their own, elevating each number by the way they phrase, emote, or interpret without reinterpreting. That innate ability to take a well-worn standard and invigorate it is well documented within these 16 tracks.


Easily among the highlights are Nat King Cole’s “Embraceable You,” Carmen McRae’s “The Man I Love,” Dakota Staton’s “A Foggy Day,” Johnny Hartman’s “How Long Has This Been Going On?,” Nina Simone’s forever classic “Summertime,” the lesser-known “Love Walked In” by Abbey Lincoln, and Mel Tormé’s fun and funny “Do Do Do.” You also get two tracks from Sarah Vaughan, who had a singular command of Gershwin like nobody else. This is a solid collection of vocal magic from top to bottom, and can be recommended to all. (by Michael G. Nastos)


01. Nat King Cole Trio: Embraceable You 3.53
02. Carmen McRae: The Man I Love 4.16
03. Chet Baker: But Not for Me 3.04
04. Sarah Vaughan: I Got Rhythm 1.54
05. Annie Ross: I Was Doing All Right 2.37
06. Nancy Wilson: Someone to Watch Over Me 2.33
07. Sarah Vaughan: Blah, Blah, Blah 2.41
08. June Christy: They Can’t Take That Away from Me 2.42
09. Beverly Kenney: It Ain’t Necessarily So 1.35
10. David Allyn: They All Laughed 2.22
11. Mel Tormé: Do Do Do 2.29
12. Peggy Lee: Aren’t You Kind of Glad We Did? 3.00
13. Dakota Staton: A Foggy Day 2.19
14. Johnny Hartman: How Long Has This Been Going On? 2.45
15. Abbey Lincoln: Love Walked In 2.33
16. Nina Simone: Summertime 5.40

All songs written by George Gershwin (muic) & Ira Gershwin (lyrics)
excep 15, wirtten by George Gershwin , Ira Gershwin & DuBose Heyward




More from George & Ira Gershwin:

The official website:

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