Friday, September 26, 2008


Listen to MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT by Johnny Smith with Stan Getz.

John back again. When the leaves are green, it’s summer to me. Whereas in Texas, that’s an easy mnemonic, in NYC cognitive dissonance sets in around October and I’m wondering why my one suit (badly pressed and worn) isn’t enough. The answer is that I’ve missed the change of the seasons once again. And so, even though the leaves are still green, I’m making a push to turn my mind to Autumn, and 1952’s “Moonlight In Vermont” is today’s effort. It simply sounds like Fall, with Johnny Smith’s calm, spare guitar and Stan Getz’s tiptoe saxophone blending in resonant harmony, like some lost cut from the Sun Sessions, minus an echoing Elvis. Swoony and romantic - just the thing for cool nights and cloudy days.

This being a blog post, I’d be remiss not to point out that some have called the Moonlight In Vermont album “the greatest forgotten jazz album of its time”. Or that Johnny Smith penned the Ventures’ hit “Walk Don’t Run” (the Ventures heard a Chet Atkins cover and sped it up) and used the money to leave NYC to open a music store in Colorado. Or that Smith got Getz a job alongside him with the NBC Orchestra, which Getz took to fund his heroin habit. Just fyi.

It’s Friday, it’s Fall, it’s jazz. Enjoy!

Photo: leaves.


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