While visiting Hollywood in 1946, a few months after Jerome Kern's passing, Dizzy Gillespie collaborated with arranger Johnny Richards on a Kern memorial album. They recorded four of his most famous songs"Who?," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Why Do I Love You?," "All the Things You Are"in a novel setting, with more than a dozen strings plus woodwinds, French horn, harp, and a state-of-the-art rhythm section (Al Haig, Ray Brown, and Roy Haynes), nearly three years before Charlie Parker's first aborted attempt to record with strings. Gillespie was in superb form, playing with exhilarating finesse on "The Way You Look Tonight." Yet those records were largely lost to history. One 78 was issued by Paramount and promptly withdrawn because of complaints from the Kern estate that Gillespie's approach was insufficiently respectful. The remaining tracks were buried until all four turned up on an underground label 30 years later. Kern's estate had no legal standing, only powers of suasion, and as a result Kern has often been presumed... More >>>
By photo: Cary Conover
The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band tackles Kern: How much deference is due?