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Catamount Community Radio - May 3, 2009

I have to thank Chris at Locust St. for much of the content of today's show. He recently published a masterful entry at the blog on the song, "After You've Gone." I borrowed both text and files. In fact, I even learned the chords to the chorus yesterday! A couple of quotes from the entry:


There's nothing extravagant or novel to "After You've Gone"'s construction: it's a 16-bar verse leading to a 20-bar chorus. The verse often gets dropped, so that many people only know "After You've Gone" as one long repeated chorus with instrumental breaks.

Losing the verse weakens the song, I find: the verse is the preamble, the chorus the constitution. The verses set the stage--the singer tries to make herself heard, uses memories as ransom, begs for another chance, builds up to her declaration. Which is the chorus: an invective, an augury, a wish, a fantasy. Anyone who's heard it once will remember it.

Creamer's lyric has no clever rhyming ("me cryin'/denyin'" is as intricate as it gets), no wordplay. It's how it should be--a more elaborate rhyme structure, a string of metaphors, would ring false. The language is clean and timeless, with the only "period" line being "you'll miss the bestest pal you've ever had."

***

"After You've Gone" inspired reverence and restraint in some (Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller, while Art Tatum kept coming back to it over decades), raw exuberance in others (in Roy Eldridge's 1937 recording with his octet, over one four-bar break, Eldridge careers from a high F down to a low G in the space of a few seconds). The song is essentially as old as jazz is, and after a time, it came to be seen as one of the music's founding documents, playing it one of a jazzman's unalienable rights.

****

1. Johnny Coles – So Sweet My Little Girl
2. Bill Evans – Close as Pages in a Book
3. Bessie Smith – After You've Gone
4. Jess Stacey – After You've Gone
5. Walter Smith III – Duke Ellingtons Sound of Love
6. The Chocolate Dandies – I Can't Believe You're in Love with Me
7. Ben Webster – After You've Gone
8. Dinah Washington – After You've Gone
9. Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis – Intermission Riff
10. Barbara Acklin – Love Makes a Woman
11. Bill Frisell – Big Shoe
12. Sonny Stitt – After You've Gone
13. Mobukaz Takemura – Fallslake
14.. Sketch Show – Microtalk
15. Thelonious Monk –Jackie-ing
16. Rufus Wainwright – Poses
17. Marisa Monte – Segue o secoo
18. Roy Eldridge – After You've Gone
19. Dan the Automator – Perhaps (Someday the Roof Will Get Fixed)
20. Alen Haven – Image
21. Zacarías Ferreira – Dame un beso
22. Fiona Apple – After You've Gone
23. Ruth Brown – Oh What a Dream
24. Yoko Kanno – Patch Me
25. Kid King's Combo – Gimmick
26. Slam Stewart & Erroll Garner – Laugh, Slam, Laugh
27. Charlie Rouse – Merci Bon Dieu


Bessie Smith


Fiona Apple
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