As the Wolves head into the doldrums that are the Summer League in Vegas and the overly agonizing wait for the KLove trade that will disappoint, it seems as if we might need a distraction. We haven't done a musical post for a few weeks and it's a Saturday morning where I have actual free time to devote to this, so let's set our sonic distorters on maximum and head out on adventure!
The idea for this post is 100% not my own as I came across this at Gizmodo and immediately thought how much better of a job the CH crowd could do at finding great and unusual versions of the Gerswin classic "Summertime". To credit the folks at Gizmodo, they did post several versions that are really good especially these three:
All three of those covers are really nice, as is the one commenter's posted video of this version:
So we now know what we have to do beat the gadget site at unearthing really solid versions of a song that reportedly has been covered at least 30,000 times. It's a challenge that we should be fully capable of showing Gizmodo up at. Let me start off with two R&B artist's interpretations of this classic that are certainly the equal of anything posted there:
For folks of my age, there is no sweeter and more harmonious sound that Booker T Jones on the Hammond B3 organ! Couple that with Steve Cropper and Donald Dunn, and Boy Howdy that is a great cover! While researching this song, I stumbled upon a slightly earlier version that has a New Orleans sound that is really great. It had been many years since I'd heard it, and now I am sad that it had fallen by the wayside of my playlist. Toussaint McCall also does a version tilted in this direction, but Billy Stewart's cover is just superb!
Summertime is, of course, a Jazz standard and likely 20k of the 30k versions of it have been performed by Jazz artists. I'm sure everyone is familiar with Ella, Billy, Sarah, and Louie"s wonderful covers of it, so I'll just post three versions from that genre that I particularly like. First, I'll post Nina Simone's take on it because well... Nina Simone has an amazing voice and anything she sings is always going to be a favorite for me.
While this next version can seem overly long to some, the artist is so good that I could handle a 45 minute version if he felt up to it. See what you think.
Summertime was not just covered by American artists, of course, some fine musicians and singers from around the world have done great versions of it. This French version is pretty great and was done not long after the song was released as part of the musical Porgy and Bess. See if you don't love it as much as I do.
Popular artists have also done some fine takes on this ode to the lazy days of a season that seems to be, much like our franchise, just around the corner from arriving.... someday. I particularly like these two takes on it.
Norah Jones collaborated on the Foreverly album that I'm giving a lot of playtime to these days; thanks E-6 or whomever recommended it recently. Here is her great cover of it.
As great as Norah's voice is, this next singer has made a nice career out of killing every song he's covered, and he has covered a great many. See if you don't love his version as much as I do.
I'll include just one more in the popular artist category, because Sweet Baby Jesus this woman has the voice of an angel!
We've covered Punk, R&B, Jazz, and Popular versions of Summertime, but there are a few more that are worth exploring. I had never heard it covered by a blues band until I came across this wonderful take on it by J B Hutto and the Nighthawks. I REALLY like what they did with it!
There is also a folk version of Summertime that is very nice, as well as an acoustic guitar cover that needs to be in consideration for anyone's favorite cover of this song. First, the folk version:
As good as Doc's take is, I like the acoustic version even more. See if you agree:
I have just one more video of a Summertime cover, and then I'll leave it up to you folks to either pick your favorite version from the one's I've posted, or post a version that you think is even better qualified to be the greatest ever version of the song. 30,000+ means that there have to be more covers than words in a Saunder's salad. I'm excited to see what you folks are going to come up with!
Have at it Hoopers, there's a massive quantity of Hoopus points and available cap space to award the person who posts the favorite cover of Summertime!