Real Question: What are you doing the rest of your life?

I heard a youtube of Carmen McRae and Joe Pass doing "What are you doing the rest of your life", and love blossomed ..

So I decided to learn it. And that I should hear some more versions. So turns out there are forty gazillion versions, but they're all the same: Orchestra soup + singer histrionics. Lots of head-tossing and audible breaths. Plenty of opera singers...Kiri, plus Anna Sofie (her english is better than I remember it), and Natalie Dessay (whatever), and then the whole gamut from late-career Frank to Streisand, Michael Bolton and Sting, to some Russian hipster who I'll never un-hear. But no differences; I could've stuck with Carmen and Joe - they're the best of the lot. Only competitors are these: 


 

Abbey Lincoln - I'm never sure what my opinion of her singing is....but she's cool, for sure.

 


 

And Johnny Smith, live in 1984; perfect in literally every way. I love Johnny Smith. I would give an unimportant finger to sing with him one time.  


 

And, of course, Bill Evans. Lovely jazz piano version. The more I hear, the more I think it might be better to leave singers out of this one. 


But these are the most fun -- the more of these I saw, the more I wished the critic lads'n'lasses of Parterre Box were with me; the quips woulda been epic: 


Michel Legrand - on Playboy After Dark. Pure kitsch...come for Michel's glasses, stay for the creepy back rub as some dude molests a lady in the audience. And I think the "conductor" learned to conduct from Bugs Bunny. 

 


Shirley Bassey - This is next level shit, yo. She can histrionic with her voice and her facial expressions at the same time, all the while adding a hundred little diction dick moves that she had to have practiced a hundred times to not have them fuck up her intonation. Guaranteed she learned this tune looking in the mirror. 


Shirley takes the Silver, though, because of this right here. Peggy Lee for the win. Between the hair, makeup and stoned affect, she's like a refugee from Valley of the dolls. Further, she's staged in front of a night-sky cyc, on a bed in a frilly white nightie, next to a sleeping man, and she looks less "in love" and more "I'm going to murder you as soon as I work up the energy." I love this more than life itself.


I wonder why the arrangements are all so-the-damn same? Is Legrand particularly controlling, are people scared of him? Anyone know?

Kathryn AllynComment