Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Battle of the Bands 22: Summertime

Summertime is here so picking a song is easy!

Here is the choice from Porgy and Bess

My battle of the bands contenders are below. However , I thought I would share some other Battle of the Bands with you as well.

If you are still looking for more musical fun after you vote, you can check out these sites for more battles:


Please check out my friends above, they post some pretty neat stuff! 

Contender one: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong...

Challenger Two: Billie Holiday

 Vote in the comments and stay cool this summer!


Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Mike! What better way to officially kick-off the sensational summer of 2015 than with George Gershwin's "Summertime," the oft recorded aria from the opera Porgy and Bess? Truth be told, kids of my generation only knew the version of the song recorded Billy "Motormouth" Stewart. Stewart's version was the most commercially successful, a top 10 hit on the pop chart. It was a good idea to remind us of these fine earlier renditions. Billie Holiday's recording of the song, the first version to reach the U.S. chart, is terrific. There's no denying it. However, with version #1. Ella and Louis, you get a two-fer, two great artists "for the price of one." Plus, we are also treated to Satchmo's trumpet playing. Both versions are classics but I'm voting for Ella & Louis.

Thanks a lot, Mike, and enjoy the rest of your week!

mike spain said...

The song has a lot of versions to choose from. With these artist the follow up post is going to be fun!

Arlee Bird said...

This is one of those classics that has almost been done to death--or maybe I just didn't care for the song to begin with. Don't get me wrong--I'll concede that it's a great tune and I do enjoy it in the right hands. Thank goodness you picked two great versions and didn't present the one by Janis Joplin which I abhor.

Billie Holliday does a beautiful job with the song. But I prefer the orchestration in the Ella version. Fitzgerald has perfect articulation in her vocal. Actually I would have preferred her to have done this same arrangement without Satchmo. I actually found his vocal and trumpet a bit annoying clashing with Ella's singing.

Still despite that minor complaint, I have to hand over my vote to Ella and Satch.

Tossing It Out

diedre Knight said...

Great song choice! I thought the decision would be tougher than it was but Ella gets my vote!

dolorah said...

Oh my, how to choose between these awesome ladies? Either one is a shut out, but together its just bliss. I might vote for Billie for purity of vocals; but I loved the instrumentation in Ella's version, and then of course there is Louis. What's not to like, and sway a vote. I'll go with Ella and Louis.

Birgit said...

This is one of my favourite songs. Both do superb versions of this song but I must give it to Ella and Louis because I love her voice and the musical accompaniment better. It seemed to pay more homage to the song.

Michele Truhlik said...

Wow, tough one. I'm going to have to give it to Billie Holiday because of the effect that version had on me. It transported me back in time and I felt like I was sitting in a dark smokey club in New Orleans. I really liked both versions though. Ella Fitzgerald's voice is so fine. Very hard to choose one. I almost feel bad not choosing Ella but I'm going with my first impression.
Good battle!
Michele at Angels Bark

farawayeyes said...

I love this song, even the version by Janis.

I know Billie is supposed to be the first lady of jazz by Satchmo and Ella had me at the fifteen second mark when that trumpet blew the first note, then again at 1:21 when Ella's sweet voice kicks in -- no doubt about it. Give Ella and Satch my vote by a great big margin.

Cherdo said...

Ella and Louis gotta get the vote! Hands down.

Robin said...

Just a personal note: I've learned the hard way NOT to put Satchmo in a battle against anyone. The guy is a legend and runs away with the battle. The combo of that voice and trumpet is just a winning combination. So, even though Billie Holliday does a wonderful job with this song... it just doesn't come close to the fabulousness of Ella and Satchmo.

Another side note: I had to listen to Billie on YouTube (because my internet is acting up here at the hotel). After Billie's version ended, another version kicked on by Norah Jones. Wowza. If you get a chance, give it a listen. I like it because of the piano. I'm a sucker for the piano...

However, in case I was unclear, my vote is for Louis and Ella.

Janie Junebug said...

I thought about using this song. It's so beautiful. I must choose Lady Day.


Jeffrey Scott said...

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong version for me.
For some reason, I can not get into Billie Holliday's singing.
I love jazz, though and Ella. It was nice to hear her sing with Louis as well.
Love the song. Thanks for posting.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Mike - FYI: Holli @ Holli's Hoots and Hollers, joined BOTB, and has a battle up for July 1st. I noticed she's not on your list.

This is one tough song to sing. Back in 2002, I sang this on my brother's 'very local' television show. The vocal range is the thing. Ella and Satchmo are really good and will probably take this away, but I love Billie's energy and her backup band. Billie Holida is what's termed, 'swanky'.

My vote goes to Billie Holiday.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

These were both excellent. I especially love Satchmo's trumpet, but I preferred the tempo on Billie Holiday's recording, so she gets my vote.

~ D-FensDogG

John Holton said...

This one is going for Ella and Louis. His trumpet at the beginning is like something out of an earlier era, and their singing is extraordinary. It's easy to treat Satchmo's singing as secondary to his playing, almost a novelty, but to hear the two of them together makes you realize that his vocal ability was at least equal to his playing. Add in Ella's exquisite voice, and you realize, as unlikely a pairing as it was, it not only worked, it was truly a unique musical experience. We're fortunate to have so many of their collaborations recorded.

Nothing against Lady Day, who turned in a fine performance on this song, although the faster tempo didn't suit the song.

Guilie Castillo said...

Oh, wow... You've made this difficult. I love Billie Holliday... but the Louis/Ella duet (and, like John said above, the trumpet!!!) is a thing of beauty that preempts comparison or match. Vote for Louis and Ella here :)
Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

Debbie D. said...

That was a great battle, Mike. I thought for sure, Billie Holiday would be my choice, but Ella and Louis really delivered this for me. Put me down for Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.