Top 50 JAzz Blog

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Edge of Schmaltz

Schmaltz-easy to say, but how do we really define it? Where does it lay along the slippery border between cheese, camp, marginal taste, pathos, bathos and emotional catharsis?  Is the very use of the word cringe-inducing? Not to me. One era's hip is often another era's schmaltz. Sometimes there's great musicianship involved. Is that enough to rescue the song or not? Sometimes the musicians are amateurish, but through sheer dint of sincerely, a hoary tune or corny lyric works. In one mood, a song sets your teeth on edge and in another mood, you reach for the handkerchief. 

Some of the folks in this playlist will be no surprise, some may bemuse and some annoy, but that's my job. 

Here's The Show.

Blue Stars "Hernando´s Hideaway" from "Jazz in Paris" (1955) on Barclay 
Ziggy Elman and His Orchestra "With a Song in My Heart" from "Dancing With Zig" (1950) on MGM 
Sarah Vaughn "Jim" from "w. Clifford Brown" (Jazz, 1954) on EmArcy  
Andre Previn "Mad About The Boy" from "Previn at the Piano" (1958) on RCA 
Cannonball Adderly "Shake a Lady" from "Domination" (1965) on Capital 
Chet Baker "Time After Time" from "Time After Time" (2002) on GFS 
Sam The Man Taylor "Tara's Theme" from "Blue Mist" (1955) on MGM 
Johnny Hartman "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" from "Sings" (1947) on Savoy 
Lena Horne "Beale St Blues" from "Swinging Lena Horne" (1962) on Coronet 
Matt Dennis "A Trout No Doubt" from "Saturday Date" (1957) on Tops 
Errol Garner "April In Paris" from "Concert By the Sea" (1956) on Philips 
Frank Sinatra "Autumn in New York" from "That Old Feeling" (1956) on Columbia 
Earl Hines "Why Must We Part" from ". . . And His Orchestra" (1933) on Jazz Archives 
Esperanza Spaulding "Precious" from "Esperanza Spaulding" (2008) on Heads Up 
Freddie Hubbard "I Got It Bad (And That ain't Good)" from "The Body and The Soul" (1963) on Impulse 
Bobby Hackett "Stairway to The Stars" from "Dream Awhile" (1961) on Columbia 

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