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Somebody Loves Me

     So far, there is only one Gershwin tune in the Tune Archive (Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off).  Noting this dearth, Doug (who earlier requested The Nearness of You) asked me to pick a Gershwin tune and play it Teddy Wilson-style.

      Like his father, Doug is a pianist and, more particularly, a huge Teddy Wilson fan which these days, is a rare and admirable thing.  Teddy Wilson is probably best remembered as the pianist for the Benny Goodman small groups (not the big band).  He also did a lot of recordings with Billie Holiday, Lester Young et al.

     It is hard for us now to appreciate how innovative and modern Wilson must have sounded when he came to prominence in the 30’s.  He’s obviously a pre-bop swing pianist, but compared to the robust and two-fisted Fats Waller standard of the day, Wilson must have seemed pared down, archly spare and strangely minimalist.  He had a great two-beat feel but rarely played  full-blown stride piano a la Waller. Whereas a classic stride pianist would use his left hand to pretty much constantly keep the oom pah beat going, and use the right for melody and embellishments, Wilson had a way of passing the rhythmic pulse between both hands, now a measure of tenths in the left hand, now a pulsed run in the right, all sort of back and forth instead of all simultaneously.  It was his own little thing.

     Most swing oriented pianists have some Wilson influences.  I love the style but it’s hard to maintain for long stretches without Wilson’s unique lightness of touch.  Anyway, here goes, Doug.  I hope there’s a hint of him here and there.  Click on the title below in red to hear it.  It turns out this was a good week to do an instrumental as I left my microphone at Cascamorto (See Gigs).  Still, the lyrics are below.

 Somebody Loves Me

Somebody loves me

I wonder who.

I wonder who she can be;

Somebody loves me

I wish I knew

Who can she be worries me.

For ev’ry girl who passes by I shout Hey! Maybe

You were meant to be my loving baby;

Somebody loves me

I wonder who,

Maybe its you.

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