BBC Four Sessions - The Great American Songbook
Highlights of a unique gathering of eclectic artists at Air Studios in London to celebrate the songs and composers of the Great American Songbook.
Paolo Nutini sings the classic composition Nature Boy, popularised by Nat King Cole, and has fun with the songs of Louis Prima. Melody Gardot enigmatically explores the songbooks of Cole Porter and Harold Arlen, while Claire Martin swings it and performs classic songs by Rogers and Hart and Irving Berlin.
Sharleen Spiteri presents her accomplished interpretation of the Billie Holiday classic God Bless the Child and Gwyneth Herbert reinterprets the Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn classic Love Me or Leave Me with loops and beats. Jose James delivers a smooth and swinging version of Just Squeeze Me, a song made popular by Duke Ellington, while Krystle Warren performs a bluesy version of Cole Porter's risque Love for Sale and a string-laden performance of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.
The session is a celebration of the music and popular songs of the famous and prolific American composers of the 1920s and onwards. Composers such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Rogers and Hammerstein and Hoagy Carmichael, to name but a few - composers who wrote the tunes of Broadway theatre and Hollywood musicals that earned enduring popularity before the dawning of rock n roll.
These songwriters have penned songs which have entered the general consciousness and which are now best described as standards - tunes which every musician and singer aspires to include in their repertoire, such as Over the Rainbow, Cheek to Cheek, Love for Sale, Love Me or Leave Me, Get Out of Town and The Lady Is A Tramp.