Apr 30, 2010
It’s almost May, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spin a new version of the Vernon Duke-Yip Harburg standard “April in Paris”. Click here to listen to cabaret stars Kenny Soderblom and his wife, Leah McCoy Soderblom, sing a simple but stirring version of the classic.
April in Paris is the title of their latest CD, and it’s full of well-known songs, touching on Michel Legrand (“How Do You Keep the Music Playing”), Henry Mancini (“Moon River”) , and Brazilian gems from Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Caminhous Cruzados”) and Ivan Lins (“The Island”). Kenny Soderblom blows a warm and inviting sax, and the The rhythm section of Mark Neuenschwander (bass), LaRue Nickelson (guitar) and Chuck Parr on drums band, swings subtly behind him. The sax solo on “You Stepped Out of a Dream” is particularly memorable.
Leah Soderblom’s vocals are without pretention or pyrotechnics, as she settles for a romantic glow around the material. She is obviously comfortable with the material, and yet never lets it get stale. Her tongue is firmly in cheek with a closing medley of “Lulu’s Back in Town/Spinning Wheel”, and her approach to “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” is unique and memorable.
According to the wonderful web site Jazzstandards.com, “April in Paris,” first appeared in the 1932 Broadway revue Walk a Little Faster. This was the first time Vernon Duke had written a complete score for a show, and “April in Paris” was not originally a part of it. Set designer Boris Aronson had created a Left Bank setting for a number, and the producers wanted a romantic song. Duke and some friends and collaborators were having a discussion when someone (purportedly Dorothy Parker) expressed a longing to be in Paris during the month of April. The rest, as they say, is history.