The first song I ever performed competitively was “Summertime” by George Gershwin from the opera Porgy and Bess. I was playing the song on trumpet and had never (yes, never) heard the song performed before. Needless to say, I had no idea what I was playing, what time signature I was in, or how to even approach a song like that, so when the adjudicators came back with a mediocre score, I felt like I’d been hijacked. What kind of a trumpet tutor has his student play something like Summertime?
Well… now I feel a little better about the whole incident. In fact I feel a little proud that my teacher would think enough of a 5th grader (yes, 5th grade) that he would give that 5th grader one of the most important operatic / jazz tunes of the 20th century to play for his first time out. I’m not going to pretend I was all that good… I just think that my teacher thought I might “get it,” which is very cool.
This version came about for a number of reasons. First, recording other people’s songs is a great way to get ready for writing your own, and I’m all geared up for FAWM. Second, I’ve been listening to a ton of Sam Cooke over the last few days and his version has stuck with me. Finally, this actually started out as me trying to play “Oops, I Did It Again” which then became Summertime and then “Fever.” Perfect medley for the Dan Band.
I’ll probably revisit the vocal, but I need to get used to putting stuff out as quickly as possible. So here it is: Summertime.