The song, “I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)” was written by the great Hoagy Carmichael. It is one of the Jazz Standards I referred to in a previous post. Sometimes sung with a rather upbeat feel, but that bracketed phrase at the end of the title, reveals its true melancholy nature.
Someone whose voice suits this melancholy is Chet Baker. To be honest, I prefer his trumpet and flügelhorn playing. Some songs, though, like this one, seem to fit.
A very different version here, from Marianne Faithfull. It comes from the album Give my Love to London. One of the reviews described her as “more a work of performance art than a singer.” It’s true that she is not a conventional pop singer, but she is a singer. As I said in a previous post, good diction and musicality are as important as the voice.
Sadly, this version, by Petula Clark, is in my eyes totally at odds with the sentiment of the song. It’s too perky, too fast, I think.
If you’ve read any of this blog before, then you will know that one of my favourite singers is Billie Holiday. Here she is, in her last album, Lady in Satin, which I inexplicably missed out of my post on Perfect Albums. Perhaps the definitive performance of the song.