Autumn in New York


Autumn in New York (Vernon Duke)

From Wikipedia (adapted):

Autumn in New York was composed for the Broadway musical Thumbs Up! which opened on December 27, 1934; it was introduced by J. Harold Murray. Recordings by Frank Sinatra and Jo Stafford in 1947 are credited with helping to draw attention to the song which had been relatively unnoticed until then.

Jazz interpretations have been recorded by Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Stan Kenton, Bud Powell, Dexter Gordon, Sarah Vaughn, and Kenny Burrell, among others. A duet version was recorded by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.


From’s “song of the week” article”

In a burst of longing for New York City, composer Vernon Duke wrote “Autumn in New York.” It was in the late summer of 1934 when he was vacationing in Westport, Connecticut, and feeling bored and discouraged after having spent the summer there writing music for an aborted musical. In his autobiography Passport to Paris, Duke described how he sat down and wrote both the words and music as a “paean to Manhattan” and a “pendant” to “April in Paris,” a song he had written in 1932 with lyricist Yip Harburg that had reached the pop charts twice and became a much-recorded jazz standard.

Duke wrote “Autumn in New York” with his heart rather than with his pocketbook, and in his autobiography he speculated that may have been the reason for its popularity: “Both the long “conversational” verse and the constantly modulating refrain contained not a particle of what the Harms (his music publishing company) moguls called “popular appeal”; the song was a genuine emotional outburst and, possibly, this genuineness accounted for its subsequent “standard” status.”


Jo Stafford — 1947


Frank Sinatra — recorded on 4 December 1947, arr. by Axel Stordahl


Charlie Parker – from the Charlie Parker with Strings sessions in 1949-50


Billie Holiday with piano accompaniment by Oscar Peterson —  recorded in Los Angeles after 21 April 1952, according to Billy Holiday Songs ( The date “after 21 April” is proposed because “We don’t know the exact date of this session. However, we know Norman Granz signed with Billie after his return from Europe in April 21st, 1952.”

The discography at, however, indicates that it was recorded during a 1 April 1952 session.


Bud Powell — from The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 2 – recorded on 14 August 1953

  • Bud Powell – piano
  • George Duvivier – bass
  • Art Taylor – drums


Dexter Gordon — from the 1955 LP Daddy Plays the Horn


A scene from the film ‘Round Midnight (1986), for which Dexter Gordon was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.


Sarah Vaughan — recorded in New York on 29 October 1956, says the provider, accompanied by Hal Mooney and His Studio Orchestra


Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets — recorded on 31 May 1956; released on ‘Round About Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia, Volume 1, 1956

personnel for this track includes:

  • Kenny Dorham – trumpet
  • Bobby Timmons – piano
  • Sam Jones – bass
  • Arthur Edgehill – drums


Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong — from Ella and Louis Again, released in 1957



Kenny Burrell — recorded at Manhattan Towers, NYC, on 14 May 1958; issued on the 1958 album Blue Lights, Volume 1, Blue Note ‎BLP 1596 (mono), and Blue Note BST 81596 (stereo)

personnel on this track:

  • Kenny Burrell – guitar
  • Bobby Timmons – piano
  • Sam Jones – bass
  • Art Blakey – drums


Helen Merrill — from the 1967 Victor (Japan) LP Autumn Love


Dave Matthews and Friends — a group of musicians from within the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, featuring Ryan Kisor: trumpet, Andy Snitzer: tenor saxophone, David Matthews: piano, Terry Silverlight: drums, Chip Jackson: bass — uploaded to YouTube on 31 July 2009


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Platong
    Apr 24, 2010 @ 03:39:43

    Thx for sharing, I love this song.


  2. Anonymous
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 18:12:02

    wow! what a song- the essence of nostalgia. love ella especially – and Kenny Burrel


  3. Jeff
    Oct 17, 2015 @ 18:58:50

    Every time the leaves turn and fall, I remember this song from my childhood.
    That’s powerful music.


  4. doc
    Oct 18, 2015 @ 21:09:24

    Very belated thanks to Platong and Anon, as well.


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