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Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:55 am

Can we agree that this song was the sole Jazz record that Elvis Presley ever waxed ? What do others think -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUrSuRElCsg

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:33 am

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The June 28th 1966 recording of City By Night is one of my favorite soundtrack recordings and yes, Boots Randolph's Sax gives it quite a Jazzy feeling.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:49 am

Jazz track

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:46 am

Jazz? Um, no.

Only in the "Elvis World" is "City By Night" classified as such.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:54 am

According to some liner notes on a bootleg record there was a Jazz tempo or arrrangement to one version of "loving you".

And some of the songs in "King Creole" had a jazz feel to them.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:57 am

I wouldnt say it was jazz

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:20 am

It's very jazzy and bluesy love it!!

Shame it's not on the MOVIES 2- CD COMP

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:44 am

If only Coltrane could have covered it ...

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:09 pm

It's a bit night-club styled but not Jazz. And as for "sole jazz track" cut by Elvis - no way. King Creole soundtrack, Frankie and Johnny soundtrack etc etc

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:22 pm

It's more lounge-swing isn't it? If that is a genre!

I love this track, but it sounds like crap on my Double Features CD. It sounds like Elvis is shut in a human-being-sized trashcan, singing into a $5 microphone whilst holding in his other hand a $7 cassette player playing the backing track.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:38 pm

It's a bizarre, if relatively successful, song that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. The trombone solo leads to suspect it is going to be jazz, and the piano work certainly carries along that element, but once the actual song begins it becomes a kind of pastiche of someone like Wayne Newton.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:59 pm

It probably isn't 'jazz' in the true sense, but it just might be the closest he came !

Of course, if 'the blues' is considered part of the jazz genre, it's a different story.................

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:16 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Jazz? Um, no.

Only in the "Elvis World" is "City By Night" classified as such.


Serious question, how does one define jazz?
Someone told me they thought the Chrismas duet with Carrie Underwood had a jazz feel to it. I'm thinking Dave Bruebeck and take five and I couldn't see the connection.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:38 pm

FredAistair wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Jazz? Um, no.

Only in the "Elvis World" is "City By Night" classified as such.


Serious question, how does one define jazz?
Someone told me they thought the Chrismas duet with Carrie Underwood had a jazz feel to it. I'm thinking Dave Bruebeck and take five and I couldn't see the connection.


"If you hit one wrong note, that's a mistake. If you hit two wrong notes - man, that's Jazz !"

(apologies for this not being a serious answer)

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:31 pm

Not really, but sort of close in a lounge lizard way. I think New Orleans is closer. Always wondered how Elvis would have done Mack The Knife or a real jazz standard. I dont think he cared much for that style of music and it is one area where he is not King of all music.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:25 pm

r&b wrote:Not really, but sort of close in a lounge lizard way. I think New Orleans is closer. Always wondered how Elvis would have done Mack The Knife or a real jazz standard. I dont think he cared much for that style of music and it is one area where he is not King of all music.


The nearest he got to the Mack the Knife Darin-style was the song Frankie and Johnny, most notably the edgier early take.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:40 pm

FredAistair wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Jazz? Um, no.

Only in the "Elvis World" is "City By Night" classified as such.


Serious question, how does one define jazz?


This is a start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:42 pm

King Volcano wrote:It's more lounge-swing isn't it? If that is a genre!

I love this track, but it sounds like crap on my Double Features CD. It sounds like Elvis is shut in a human-being-sized trashcan, singing into a $5 microphone whilst holding in his other hand a $7 cassette player playing the backing track.



True!

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:01 pm

Almost In Love should also qualify: it was written by Randy Starr and Samba/Bossa Nova jazz musician Luiz Bonfá.

Here's Bonfá's version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXieZWeIFiQ

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:13 am

"Almost In Love" is closer, but I'd still call it pop.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:28 am

Almost in Love IS closer. Good point!

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:53 am

Almost In Love clearly takes its lead from the vogue for Latin American-flavoured jazz and the bossa nova in general which started to really take hold in the States in the USA. Many mainstream artists recorded bossa albums during the 1960s, most notably Sinatra of course, whose first album with Antonio Carlos Jobim is a classic. The second album was released in a slightly odd fashion as one side of Sinatra & Company with the remaining three tracks on a UK compilation in the 1970s.That second album doesn't have quite as soft a sound as the first. Almost In Love has a sound somewhere between the two. In fact Sinatra recorded a Bonfa composition in the latin style on his My Way album - A Day In The Life of a Fool (aka Manha da Carnaval), one of the non-Jobim compositions to be recorded by many mainstream artists. Harry Belafonte's version of this song is stunning, and the similarities with Presley's take on the bossa nova is quite striking.

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There is relatively little in these recordings by Sinatra and others such as Julie London and Doris Day, who both recorded bossa albums (the Day one is gorgeous), to link them to jazz, however. Instead, they (and Elvis) take the songs firmly into the easy listening/lounge area rather than jazz. Jazz musicians were doing something quite different with the bossa nova. Scat singers such as Ella Fitzgerald (who included a bossa number in most of her concerts from the early 60s onwards, and even learned Portugese when she was unable to perform due to eye problems) and be-bop artists such as Stan Getz took them at a much faster pace in general, and used them purely as rhythmic patterns and chord progressions around which they improvise.

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Elvis never goes into this area with his forays into bossa, and it's hardly surprising; he wasn't a jazz singer. While King Creole boasts some dixieland jazz-flavoured orchestrations, Presley's singing never really ventures into jazz there either, although the resulting recordings are a blast, and some of the most appealing that Elvis made.

As I have said before, the nearest Elvis actually got to a jazz mentality on record is actually Don't Think Twice! The genre clearly isn't jazz, but jazz is all about improvisation. That is what is at its heart, it's core. And in Don't Think Twice, this is what Elvis is doing. Just like Ella's version of One Note Samba, he takes lines, changes them, twists them and takes them to places they are not meant to go - and like the best jazz, there are times when he ties himself up in knots and struggles to find a way out. The instrumention may be folk or country (call it what you will), but this is the nearest that Elvis got to using a jazz singer's tools within his own recordings.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:47 pm

I've always loved "City by night" and since the age of about 14, I've considered it to be jazz. But because it is associated with what many people believe to be a 'below-par Elvis movie', it will not be taken seriously. If it was recorded for and included on, say, the sessions for "How great thou art", it would be associated with serious session work. And we all know that 'the Doc' wouldn't like it.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:15 pm

The song strikes me as a blues-jazz hybrid.

Re: Elvis Presley - City by Night ( is it a Jazz record ?)

Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:54 am

RELAX sounds to me a little Jazzy.