Frank Morgan, George Cables, Curtis Lundy & Billy Hart

The tune is “On Green Dolphin Street” in this performance recorded in 2003. Frank Morgan was almost seventy years old, and his saxophone was still pure. A great quartet.

Performed by Frank Morgan (alto sax), George Cables (piano), Curtis Lundy (bass), and Billy Hart (drums) (10 minutes)

Monk: Straight, No Chaser

The pioneering bebop artist Thelonious Monk was one of the great pianist/composers of the twentieth century, and he was born one hundred years ago today. Here’s a performance of one of his most famous compositions, recorded in a concert at Tokyo, Japan on May 21, 1963. Click the image for a link to the recording.

Performed by Thelonious Monk (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), Butch Warren (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums) (10 minutes)

Autumn Leaves

“Autumn Leaves” (“Les Feuilles mortes” in its original French), with its wistful hook, is one of the most recorded melodies. Here are two of the best performances.

Yves Montand

Montand was the one of the first to perform “Les Feuilles mortes,” in a 1946 film called Les Portes de la nuit (Gates of the Night). He became associated with the song and recorded it many times. Yves Montand was a gifted actor and a self-assured movie star. This version of the song is proof that he was also an exceptional musician.

(4 minutes)

Bill Evans Trio

“Autumn Leaves” is tremendously popular with jazz musicians, who love its drifting, (more…)