Louis Jordan - Is He Is or Is He Ain't?

Jul242015

Louis Jordan - Is He Is or Is He Ain't?

 

v11i29 Louis Jordan

Louis JordanI have long loved the song, 'Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't My Baby' but I didn't know anything about it until I looked it up a couple of weeks ago.  It was probably the grammar that got my attention, but I love the smoky melodies and sub-melodies woven into it.  I thought it was written to be sing by a woman, and thought it must have been written for Dinah Washington or possibly the Glenn Miller Band.  Diana Krall does a lovely, sultry version of it.  But it turns out that a lot of male singers have covered it, including Cab Calloway, Charlie Pride, Bing Crosby, and B.B. King, not to mention Tom, the cat in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons (actually sung by Ira Woods).  It turns out it was written by Louis Jordan and Billy Austin in 1944, when Jordan released it on the B-side of his 'G.I. Jive' single.

Jordan's recording is included on a wonderful, expanded version of the album, The Best of Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five.  It includes many old hits that you'll recognize like 'Choo Choo Ch'Boogie', first recorded by Jordan and his band in 1946, and 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin', which Jordan wrote with Joe Green and recorded that same year.  If you are looking for an album that will make you smile, this is the one.

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