So I just recently learned that one of my favorite songs, “Body and Soul” is actually the most recorded jazz standard in history. This status is well-deserved; the song is, in my opinion, flawless.
Everything from the lyrics to the instrumental sections are just spot on. The version I am most familiar with is the Ella Fitzgerald version, and let me tell you, it is absolutely stunning. Although the lyrics are very poignant, “my life, a wreck you’re making/don’t you know I’m yours for just the taking?” they are so beautifully written that you- at least if you are me- can listen to the song over and over again.
Again, this is the most recorded jazz standard, meaning basically anybody who is anybody has recorded it. Therefore, I am always hearing a version of the song that I had not previously heard. Recently, I saw the Tony Bennett/Amy Winehouse duet version of the song on Youtube and loved it! Winehouse’s take, as always, was very unique, and Bennett is obviously amazing. His classic, soothing voice coupled with her powerful contralto made quite the performance.
Oh and also listen to the Ella version. It’s amaaazing!
I’m a big fan of this clip cause you get a little Frank at the beginning.
So for a little history. The song was written in 1930 for British actress and singer Gertrude Lawrence, who first performed it. The wonderful Louis Armstrong was the first jazz musician to perform it, and ever since, it has become a standard within the jazz community (for good reason!).
Anyway, if you are not already familiar with the song, make yourself familiar. It is worth it!