For Valentine’s Day: Yoko’s Favorite Ballads

For Valentine’s Day: Yoko’s Favorite Ballads

Happy Valentine’s Day (where applicable)! To celebrate, here are four of Yoko’s favorite ballads and her comments on them.

“There’s a Lull in My Life” — I love this version sung by Chet Baker. He really gets inside the lyrics and makes you believe there truly is a lull in his life.

“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” — This is the song that originally attracted me to jazz. This is a beautiful version sung by Kurt Elling. He put words to Keith Jarrett’s intro and cadenza to this song. The cadenza in particular is achingly beautiful.

“My Foolish Heart” — This famous version played by Bill Evans is the model for how to play a ballad on piano. You can hear the depth of emotion, love, hope and despair in his playing. This version was recorded live so it was just a snapshot in history.

“What Kind of Fool Am I” — This version sung by Sammy Davis Jr. was his signature song. I love the emotion he puts into the lyric and the way the song builds to a pinnacle at 2:58.

7 Responses

  1. Kaoru Koide says:

    Wonderful night passage

  2. John T. says:

    I have the version of What Kind of Fool Am I by Sammy Davis Jr, that you show above. It’s my father’s all time favorite song. He can’t get enough of it. Hard to describe how much he loves that song, but he really loves it.

  3. Jazz Rottweiler says:

    I still hate Kurt Ellings unmusical sounding singing and his dry, grating voice. I know you love him, though, so Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Yoko Miwa says:

      Well I don’t love everything he does but I do like this version of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. I know a lot of people have strong opinions about Kurt and it’s usually love or hate and never in between. I respect your strong opinion though because without them life would be much more boring. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too Jazz! 🙂

  4. Jerry Klinow says:

    Great choices! Amazing how songs affect us in so many ways!

  5. Ron Zack says:

    I’m not a big fan of Kurt Elling however his version of All The Way at the Berkley Performance Center was to me the highlight of the concert that featured many great artists.

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