Sandy Brown Jazz

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Take Two

Easy Living

 

 

 

Take Two

 

 

Easy Living was written by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin for the 1937 movie of the same name, although it was just an instrumental number in the film.

 

So our first Take is a fine instrumental video from the Bocciodromo Jazz Club in Vicenza, Italy in October 2020. The musicians here are Carlo Atti (tenor sax); Emanuele Tondo (piano); Marco Palmieri (double bass) and Oreste Soldano (drums).

The video starts a few seconds into the tune, but nothing is lost from that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living for you is easy living
It's easy to live when you're in love
And I'm so in love
There's nothing in life but you

 

Easy Living poster

 

 

In the movie Easy Living the son of a rich banker is determined to leave and make his own life. Meanwhile, the banker's wife has been spending vast sums of money on fur coats. Annoyed, the banker throws one of the coats off the roof of their house where it lands on Mary Smith who returns it, but is told to keep it and the banker buys her a new hat to compensate. This leads to rumours that Mary is his mistress and she loses her job.

Nearly penniless, Mary begins receiving offers from people eager to cash in on her notoriety. One firm gives her an expensive sixteen-cylinder car, and hotel owner Mr. Louis Louis installs her in a luxury suite, hoping that this will deter the banker from foreclosing on his failing business. Coincidentally, Mary meets the banker's son, John Jr, who is working at a restaurant. He gives Mary free food for which he is fired so Mary invites him to stay with her. Of course they fall for each other.

Meanwhile, as time goes on, her supposed connection to the banker has disastrous consequences for the stock market. A stockbroker asks her for inside information about the price of steel, Mary thinks he is talking about John Jr. who jokingly says the price is going down and as a result, everybody begins selling, just as the banker, John Senior, starts buying, causing his company to teeter on the brink of bankruptcy. When Mary, John Junior and John Senior finally get together and discover what is going on, John comes up with a bright solution - getting Mary to tell the stockbroker that the banker, John Sr., has cornered the market. Prices shoot up, the delighted father gives his son a job, and John Jr. proposes to Mary.

 

 

 

Here is a clip from the movie.

 

 

 

 

I'll never regret the things I'm giving
They're easy to give when you're in love
I'm happy to do whatever I do for you

 

There are many versions of the song Easy Living including versions by Miles Davis and Clifford Brown but with Billie Holiday perhaps giving one of the best known vocal recordings, but our second Take on this occasion is another video instrumental from Art Blakey's band in 1965 featuring a lovely solo by trumpeter Lee Morgan. The band: Lee Morgan (trumpet); John Hicks (piano); Victor Sproles (bass) and Art Blakey (drums):

 

 

 

 

For you maybe I'm a fool, but it's fun
People say you rule me with one wave of your hand
Darling, it's grand, they just don't understand

 

There are those who might complain that I have not included a Take of a vocal version of Easy Living. That gives me the excuse to squeeze in Take Three at the risk of you thinking I favour the Sant Andreu Jazz Band (as if ...?!). Their video features the tenor saxophone of Scott Robinson and Andrea Motis sings the song:

 

 


Living for you is easy living
It's easy to live when you're in love
And I'm so in love
There's nothing in life but you

 

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Other pages you might find of interest :

More Take Two
The Story Is Told
Video Juke Box
Jazz As Art

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