Tuesday, March 11, 2008

85: Harlem Nocturn(e)

The first time this song caught my ears' attention,
was when I bought (and listened endlessly to)
That album has a (no need to say?) lotta punch
and I still play it (so every now and then).
Surfin around for more info on the song,
I stumbled (once again) on the great Office Naps blog,
where DJ Little Danny did an extensive writing on the song.
Following I snatched from there (also the pic)
and is for your edutainment...
"The immortal ”Harlem Nocturne” was conceived by Earle Hagen,
who, before his prolific Hollywood career, worked as an arranger
and trombonist in the big bands of the ‘30s.
Hagen was behind loads of memorable soundtracks and television
themes- The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show,
I Spy, Gomer Pyle, The Mod Squad, among others -
but his ”Harlem Nocturne,” recorded in 1939
during a stint with the Ray Noble Orchestra,
is the source of his enduring fame.
“Harlem Nocturne,” big band success and later
R&B instrumental staple, was performed most famously
in 1959 by New Jersey’s Viscounts,
though hundreds of versions would be committed to
record whenever high drama was needed.
“Harlem Nocturne” is a crime soundtrack gold standard."
Thank you DJ Little Danny, I totally agree on that and had
niente problemas gathering lotsa covers of this great song...
So, here are the 10 first versions!
1. Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - Harlem Nocturne (5:49)
2. Duke Ellington - Harlem Nocturne (2:50)
3. Eddie Harris - Harlem Nocturne (12:41)
4. King Curtis - Harlem nocturne (3:56)
5. Les Brown - Harlem Nocturne (3:12)
6. Lounge Lizards - Harlem Nocturne (2:07)
7. Neil Lewis and His Quintet - Harlem Nocturn (2:48)
8. Ray Noble & His Orchestra - Harlem Nocturne (3:00)
9. Toots Thielemans - Harlem Nocturne (5:33)
10. Viscounts - Harlem Nocturne (2:23)


Vincent the Soul Chef said...

Have you heard Johnny Otis' version? drop me a line and I'll hook you up with a copy.

E-mile said...

Hi Vincent,
thanks for the offer, but the Johnny Otis version is coming up in a next batch, I have that one
already :-)
I get back to you about that other thing..
regards, E-mile

Anonymous said...

thanks for the many versions of harlem nocturne - but there is something wrong with the zshare link - no download, just keeps on repeating the cycle.
pls do something about it.

DLMejica from the Philippines

E-mile said...

DLMejica: thanks for telling me, the link is repaired, Zshare is out of order with old links, today Mediafire or Rapidshare are reliable subs, so here's a new link for you:
peace, E-mile

Bonobo said...

This is so beautiful, thank you.