You Don’t Know What Love Is
You Don’t Know What Love Is (m. Gene de Paul, w. Don Raye) – Everyone who writes about this melancholy song seems troubled by the fact that it was written for an Abbott and Costello comedy film. For example, the review of the song at WICN.org’s Song of the Week feature says:
The song could hardly be a worse fit for a slapstick comedy, being much better suited to film-noir, and in 1999 it did serve as the leitmotif for the tense, psychological thriller, The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Its film career didn’t help “You Don’t Know What Love Is” to reach the pop charts and it was never a major hit. It was recorded sporadically in the 1940s, mainly by big bands with male vocalists.
The song was dropped from Keep ‘Em Flying prior to release and used in the following year in the film Behind the Eight Ball (1942).
personnel: Jimmy Raney (g), John Wilson (tp), Hall Overton (p), Teddy Kotick (b), Nick Stabulas (ds)
- Rome, 1956 – the provider suggests the following line-up: Chet Baker – tr, Jean-Louis Chautemps – ts, Francy Boland – p, Eddie de Haas – b, Charles Saudrais – dr
- Chet Baker duet with vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid, recorded during their period of collaboration from 1978 to 1988. Released on the 1999 album Why Shouldn’t You Cry: The Legacy 3. The remainder of the album, says Answers.com, consists of Lackerschmid originals.
- Chet Baker – Live at Ronnie Scott’s, vocal by Elvis Costello, 1986
An editorial review of the DVD at Amazon.com by Eugene Holley, Jr. reads, in part:
In the early 1950s, trumpeter-vocalist Chet Baker was the “James Dean of jazz.” Blessed with good looks and a lyrical and lean trumpet style, Baker arrived on the scene in California at the age of 22, when the great alto saxophonist Charlie Parker invited him to work in his band. Decades later, Baker got involved in drugs, had run-ins with the law, and became a poster boy for the image of the doped-out jazz fiend. This 1986 film, shot two years before Baker fell to his death from a hotel in Amsterdam, captures the painful pathos and poetry of his art in an intimate set at Ronnie Scott’s famed jazz club in London. With a breathy, walking-on-eggshells trumpet tone similar to the sound of Miles Davis, and an achy, whisper-toned vocal style, the weathered and weary Baker delivers piercing takes on a number of standards and jazz classics, including “Just Friends,” “My Ideal,” and “Shifting Down.” Punk rock icon Elvis Costello joins Baker on blue-embered renditions of “The Very Thought of You” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is.”
Sonny Rollins – from the album Saxophone Colossus – 1956
Julie Wilson – from her album My Old Flame, 1957
Born in Omaha, Nebraska and first finding a musical outlet with local musical group Hank’s Hepcats, Wilson headed to New York City during World War II and found work in two of Manhattan’s leading nightclubs, the Latin Quarter (nightclub) and the Copacabana. She made her Broadway debut in the 1946 revue Three to Make Ready. In 1951, she moved to London to star in the West End production of Kiss Me, Kate and remained there for four years, appearing in shows such as South Pacific and Bells Are Ringing while studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She returned to New York to replace Joan Diener in Kismet. Additional Broadway credits include The Pajama Game (1954), Jimmy (1969), Park (1970), and Legs Diamond (1988), for which she received a Tony Award nomination as Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She also toured in Show Boat, Panama Hattie, Silk Stockings, Follies, Company, and A Little Night Music.
For an example of Wilson’s ability to borrow from Billie Holiday check out her phrasing on the line “and how lips that taste of tears…” at around 1:10 in the video below. According to Wikipedia, from the early 1980s Julie has been known primarily as a cabaret performer specializing in torch songs and show tunes). In 2009 she was performing a cabaret show called Julie Wilson Sings Billie Holiday.
Dinah Washington – from her 1955 album For Those in Love
Fran Warren – from Hey There! Here’s Fran Warren, 1957, arranged and conducted by Marty Paich
Billie Holiday — Session #84, New York 18 February 1958 — Ray Ellis and his Orchestra (Columbia) — Mel Davis, Billie Butterfield, Bernie Glow (tp) Urbie Green (tb) Gene Quill (as) Hank Jones (p) Barry Galbraith (g) Milt Hinton (b) Osie Johnson (d) Billie Holiday (v) + strings and choir — the recording first appeared as track #3 of Lady in Satin, 1958
Billy Eckstine – from Billy’s Best!, 1958
John Coltrane Quartet: Coltrane (sax); McCoy Tyner (p); Jimmy Garrison (b); Elvin Jones (d) – 13 November 1962 — note: sounds like an audio defect or two at about 55 secs
Lennie Tristano – piano solo – Copenhagen, 31 October 1965
Larry Coryell – from Lady Coryell, 1968. The album was his first as a leader. On this track Coryell plays two guitar parts.
Dexter Gordon & Slide Hampton – from the 1969 album A Day In Copenhagen
Dexter Gordon – tenor sax
Slide Hampton – trombone
Dizzy Reece – trumpet
Kenny Drew – piano
Art Taylor – drums
Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen – bass
Cassandra Wilson – live, originally recorded for her 1993 studio album Blue Light ’til Dawn where it was the opening track. It was her first album for Blue Note.
João Galante, Mo Jazz Trio – date unknown