November 29, 2015

#8: Two or three teriffffic kicks

Number eight is Cole Porter's iconic "I Get A Kick Out Of You," recorded in 1953 for the album Songs for Young Lovers.

There's a fun Neal Hefti arrangement of the song but it's just a little too slick for me; there's something almost mechanical about it. I very much prefer this wonderful, gently swinging arrangement by George Siravo:

That's just right. Though not everyone agrees with me. Mark Steyn:

Bill Miller, Sinatra's longtime pianist, once told me he thought Siravo's "Kick" was "kinda square". 
Square?! I don't think so. And neither did Frank:
Maybe he [Miller] got bored with it over half-a-century. But Frank never did. And, when Miller was taking a break from Sinatra for a few years in the late Seventies/early Eighties, Frank and his replacement pianist Vincent Falcone revitalized "Kick" as a freewheeling number for rhythm section only. This was the jazziest Sinatra had been in a couple of decades, and, when he wanted something to kick around, the best kick remained "I Get A Kick Out Of You". Some get a kick from champagne and cocaine, but at 70 Frank Sinatra got a kick from an ancient George Siravo layout and kicking around with the four or five musicians he knew best.
I love it. But if that doesn't give you a boot, there's another version that might. It's the one Frank sings in 1965 in his first Man and His Music television special. It swings harder than the Siravo version but is quite different from the Hefti chart:

I'm guessing that's a Riddle arrangement. It's terriffffic, too.

Mark and Bob discuss the champagne/cocaine/from Spain/refrain, et cetera, lyric variants, here and here.

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