|The Jazz Standard Stella by Starlight was originally written as an instrumental by Victor Young and was featured in the 1944 film the Uninvited. Words were then added in 1946 by Ned Washington. Many Jazz artists have recorded this tune including Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Bud Powell, Stan Kenton’s Big Band, George Roberts, Miles Davis, Earl Grant, Joe Pass, Dexter Gordon…the list is endless. It has become essential repetoire for anybody interested in learning jazz. I’ve featured some of my favourite versions below, with a slight leaning towards my favourite guitarists
Album – Evening Soundtrack
Such an instrumentally performed standard, this version reminds us of the song. The best way to translate a melody onto your guitar is to sing it, so keep this version in your head. Remember it’s always good to learn the lyrics for a song, as this will help you phrase the melody.
Album -In Concert
Listen to this version gradually building, out of time, melody always distinct, moving lines happening underneath until Martin gets a rhythmic groove going just before 2 minutes in.
Album – Virtuoso
One of the first albums that first got me into solo fingerstyle guitar playing. It showed me the potential of the guitar as a lead and harmonic instrument and also what can be done with a simple melody in terms of improvisation. Also gave me the thought that I may want to go and get some guitar lessons!
Album – My Passion for the Piano
Memory lane with this one as it reminds me of going to see Arturo Sandoval in concert at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival back in the nineties. Just listen to how the first few bars set up the tune.
Album – Midnight Blue
Listen out for the great interplay between the bass and the guitar in this one, also the bass taking the melody.
|Which artist’s version of Stella By Starlight would you recommend? Tell me about it and I can feature it here