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BotM Feb 2020- Smoke gets in your eyes


Hello everyone, happy February.

I am lucky enough to be this month's host for the ballad of the month. I have chosen "Smoke gets in your eyes" composed by Jerome Keren with lyrics by Otto Harbach. When doing some research so I could write something interesting, I was surprised to learn that the ballad was written for the Broadway musical Roberta. It turns out a good few standards were created that way.

Below is the dropbox link to the backing track and sheets in C, Bb, and Eb, as well as musescore files. A big thank you to Nigel for fixing some errors in my chords and making the backing track.

I always like to know the lyrics when I play a song like this, so here they are, compressed into a spoiler:
They asked me how I knew
My true love was true
Oh, I of course replied
Something here inside cannot be denied

They said someday you'll find
All who love are blind
Oh, when your heart's on fire
You must realize
Smoke gets in your eyes

So I chaffed them and I gaily laughed
To think they could doubt my love
Yet today my love has flown away
I am without my love

Now laughing friends deride
Tears I can not hide
Oh, so I smile and say
When a lovely flame dies
Smoke gets in your eyes

Now for some recordings, also hidden behind a spoiler for convenience:
My absolute favorite recording of this ballad is a trombone feature by the Swingfield big band. This entire album (big band love songs) is great.

Coleman Hawkins made a wonderful recording of this tune.

I was surprised to find that Amy Dickson has a recording. I knew her as a classical player, and she remains pretty true to that in this recording, which makes in unique. I think you'll like it.

And finally, I would be remiss not to include a sung version. Here is the lovely Connee Boswell.

I cant wait to see what we can come up with this moth!
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It's a nice pick and we appreciate the hard work getting everything together for us. It's funny how many times this sweet tune has been requested and I still have not learned it.
I need to add this pretty song to my love list.


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I have a playalong book by Bob Wilber that uses the same rhythm section + strings arrangements that were used on the Clifford Brown with Strings album. Bob played his own solos which were then written out (in a complicated way), but although he played this one on soprano it was only written for alto. I think it sounds better on sop so I wrote it out for me to play on sop.

I think the strings almost overpower the soprano, so it was quite hard to mix the recording but here is what I made.

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