Remember your surprise when movies you grew up watching for years on your black and white tv set turned out to actually be in color? It was hard to accept the "real" thing as not being fake, given the way your mind works. The same thing happened when they re-released the digital collection of The Beatles lp's a few years back in their original EMI versions - Americans that grew up on the Capitol records discs demanded the same order of songs and interstitial music they were familiar with, and rejected the real albums as phony!
I had a similar experience the other day when I first heard Anita O'Day's recording of Miles Davis' great cool jazz song "Four" on the radio. Having grown up listening to and playing the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross version with lyrics by the poet laureate of jazz Jon Hendricks, it was a shock when the first lines of the song came out of Anita's mouth completely different - a paradigm shift!
"There's not one boy for me I must have two or three I need Four
First the man whose the type to like slippers and pipe at the door
Then, if at all possible, I'd like the kind
Who's not very boss-able, but knows his mind..."
I don't know who wrote the version that Day sings - a fun, flirty love song - kind of a fifties "date" night version, but the words can't match the profundity that Hendricks manages to conjure up, all the way to his lyrics for Miles Davis' transcribed trumpet solo!
FOUR - Miles Davis/Jon Hendricks
Of the wonderful things that you get outta life, there are four
And they may not be many, but nobody needs any more
Of the many facts making the list of life Truth takes the lead
And to relax, knowing the gist of life It’s truth you need
Then the second is honor and happiness makes number three
When you put them together you’ll know what the last one must be
Baby so that's truth, honor and happiness And one thing more
Meaning only wonderful, wonderful love that’ll make it four.
Don’t you know the score?
Well. people, when they’re younger, never realize the pleasure-treasure life’s got But, as they grow older, realize a lot
They got their minds on all the wrongest scenes
An things that cost a lotta’ money, but it’s really very funny;
they fade away and don’t’ amount to a hill o’ beans
Funny how the things in life we really should adore
We forget, or ignore - end up poor-
Spent a lot o’ time on money and madness and end up in sadness
Youth is the time when we should see the light
Cause when we’re old wasted, the dues for what we’ve tasted run so high
That we pay ‘till we die-then we know that youth that made us strong is wasted on the young,
So-enjoy it gaily! Love life! And live it daily
You’ll find a lot of things to bring you joy and give peace of mind
Get it while the gettin’s good, ‘cause every body, if they only would, life would be a set-
Life would be a groovy set-groovy as a movie
Wail! Wail! Let your voice be heard. Spread the work!
Every body’s hear’s got ears Only gotta’ teach em’ how to use em-not abuse ’em
So take a tip from me: the world’s everything it oughta’ be as long as you can be sure
There is no more to life than same ol’ four.