Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My One And Only Love

My One and Only Love was written by Guy Wood in 1947.    Robert Mellin wrote new lyrics for the song and it was introduced by Frank Sinatra in 1952.   It is one of those songs that seems to be a perfect blend of music and lyric,  even though both were not done at the same time.

Recently,  I participated in an online recital for the Piano World "Adult Beginner's" group.  The theme was Great American Songbook songs.  Some of the folks  who participated would certainly not fit most people's description of a beginner.  There was even  a gentleman who participates in the prestigious Van Cliburn piano competitions who was nice enough to add some entries.  One of his submitted GAS songs was an absolutely beautiful arrangement of My One And Only Love  by a composer named Liz Story.  Liz's "Story" is that  she's better known as a "New Age" artist, but she acquired extensive jazz experience while a student at Julliard in the early 1960s. She fell in love with Bill Evans's music then, and got to know Evans personally. He, in turn, recommended a teacher in NYC who taught her the ropes in jazz harmonization and style. 

This person turned in an inspiring performance of Liz Story's arrangement.   At the same time,  I had been listening to Jaime Cullum's excellent vocal/piano arrangement of My One And Only Love  quite a lot.   It became clear  that some version of this song needed to be my next tune!

This arrangement is a solo piano effort.  I had a trio backing track worked up for it,  but it did not fit all of the the different styles that I wanted to get into the short Cullum-esque arrangement.   So solo it was.

The intro and ending have a little vamp that is similar to what Jamie has in his arrangement.   The form of the song is AABA.   The first A section is ballad legato tempo,  I then go into another A section with Shearing chords at ballad legato tempo.  The  B section is ballad as well,  but when I come back to the last A section,  this is played as a bass-in-2 rhythm.   After the whole first verse completes,  I come back right away to the B section with a slightly faster bluesy improv part,  then end up the final A section and ending back at legato tempo.

That is a lot of stuff to cram into a short song!    Many thanks to  my piano teacher Ed,  for help on ideas for this one. 

(Please excuse some of the ambient TV noise in the background.   There is never a quiet time to record something in this place :-))  

The very thought of you makes
My heart sing,
Like an April breeze
On the wings of spring
And you come to me all your splendor,
My one and only love

You fill my eager heart with such desire
Every kiss you give sets my soul on fire
I give myself in sweet surrender
My one and only love

The touch of your hand is like heaven
A heaven that I've never known
The blush on your cheek whenever I speak
Tells me that you are my own

Jamie Cullum


  1. Ken,
    This performance is SO RICH, and you are REALLY now able to express your harmonic language and lyrical qualities in a solo piano context.
    Talk about musical growth!
    Your rendition truly demonstrates your heartfelt emotional input as well as your musical maturity. Congratulations on this wonderful performance,

  2. This is just lovely blog about piano,.
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