Jerome Kern (with thanks to Bill10558 & Jon Rappoport's dog)

Hello again fellow Gizar music lovers,
Bill 10558 posted this entry (below) a few days ago in the “Dog Lovers Forum”, but I felt my promised follow-up would be more suitable to the music section. As I said in my comments at that time, Mrs. WhiteRaven and I were inspired to do a recording of the song he wrote about, The Way You Look Tonight, as a result. It is jazz, despite Jon’s misgivings, although in a cool,laid back, more understated style which, IMHO, is more suitable to the tone of the lyrics and wistful atmosphere of the melody Kern composed than the more snappy, Vegas-style [although obviously great] version that Frank Sinatra performed.
We also decided to include two more of Kern’s wonderful songs, the previously referenced All the Things You Are and another of his greats (and his last major composition) Long Ago and Far Away, which we had recorded previously. Hope y’all enjoy them :grinning:! Here they are:

The original posting from Bill10558 and my previous response are copied here for your convenience:

I agree with Jon Rappoport! The Great American Songbook is one of the treasures of our 20th century western culture! My wife and I have a special appreciation for these songs. We have been recording much of this material since Covid stopped our live performances, as we shared in postings/links last year, as a small attempt to preserve a bit of beauty and grace in this rapidly degenerating culture. These songs could be justly considered as the continuation of the tradition of classical tonal lieder from 19th century Europe. As Dr. Farrell (and I) have mused in previous postings, “Classical” music went off the tracks in the early 20th century. However, the tradition has largely been continued in “popular” music such as jazz, film & theater music, and, of course, the Great American Songbook, which is actually a distillation of many of the best examples of these genres. Jerome Kern is one of the great composers of that age, with extremely sophisticated melodic twists and harmonic progressions, including in this song (with the very evocative lyrics by Dorothy Fields), and even more so in what is probably his masterpiece, All the Things You Are. See the harmonic and structural analysis of this amazing composition here: All the Things You Are - Wikipedia
Now you have inspired us to record this one too: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

PS… an interesting “coincidence”: Jerome Kern shares his January 27 birthday with a fellow you might have heard of, W.A. Mozart! Interesting recursion :wink:.


Wow! Thanks for doing the recording. Y’all sound great. Must be nice to be blessed with such talent anytime you want music. I too am a fan of jazz music. Thanks again.

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Thank you for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed my wonderful wife’s vocal talents; she is the one with all the performance gifts. I focus on composing & arranging under my JC du Tour nom de plume, and now, recently, learning sound engineering and music production out of necessity since Covid :grin:!

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Thank you for sharing Mrs WhiteRaven’s lovely singing voice!

I’ve always loved the chord progressions in Jerome Kern’s music, and the Wiki article you posted gives insight into his technique.

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Thanx for the positive feedback about Beth and Kern :grinning:! I agree that Kern is one of the best of his time & genre, especially in his sophisticated harmonic progressions.