I can appreciate a “Love Story” or a “DJ’s Got Us Fallin’ In Love” on a contemporary Valentine’s Day playlist as much as they next guy—Well, probably not, but at at least I can understand. However, sometimes the mood calls for something a little different: music that is a little older, and a lot classier. To that end, WGTB would like to provide you with some of our choices for the classiest, most virtuosic, and most romantic titles from the Jazz catalog that we can think of.* After that fancy, candlelit dinner—ideally somewhere else than O’Donovan’s on the Waterfront—uncork that bottle of red, let you and your significant other collapse onto the couch, and let the music do the rest. This list also serves to provide you with a free, non-marketing created, version of the romance of jazz. I swear to God, if any of you so much as thinks about the album Coltrane For Lovers, I will find you and brain you with a Saxophone.
“They Say It’s Wonderful” – John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman – John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
“If I Were A Bell” – The Miles Davis Quintet – Relaxin’
“Embraceable You” – The Nat King Cole Trio – The King Cole Trio
“For All We Know” – The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Jazz at the College of the Pacific
“Nancy (With the Laughing Face)” – Frank Sinatra – The Best of the Columbia Years, 1943-1952
“The Star Crossed Lovers” – Duke Ellington & His Orchestra – Such Suite Thunder
“Lush Life” – John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman – John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
“In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning” – Kevin Mahogany – Jazz After Dark
“You Go To My Head” – Bill Evans Quintet – Interplay
“Manhattan” – Rod Stewart featuring Bette Midler – Stardust: The Great American Songbook: Vol. III
“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” – Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book
“Aisha” – John Coltrane – Olé Coltrane
*OK, so “Lush Life” and “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” don’t exactly fit the bill. As to the latter, Mahogany’s performance is just too rich to ignore, plus there are romantic overtones. “Lush Life” is my one, self-allowed, “I’m single and therefore bitter towards the happy couples” pick, but like Mahogany it is too amazing of a performance to ignore. Plus, Strayhorn’s line “Romance is mush / Stifling those who strive” is the perfect advice to console so many of us.