Tag Archive for Cassandra Wilson

Charlie’s Turntable: “My Love and I”

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There are about several thousand LP’s and CD’s in my collection of recordings and I love turning people on to music that I love. My Love And I is one of my all-time favorite songs written for the movie “The Apache” by the great film composer David Raksin.

I first heard this piece (before I saw the movie) when I bought an LP in the early 60’s called Today and Now by Coleman Hawkins which was recorded at Rudi Van Gelder’s studio in 1962. He played the song which was called “Love Song from Apache”. It has a very deep melody and very deep chords and it was a perfect vehicle for Coleman Hawkins because he has a very deep sound. His version inspired me to want to perform it.


Coleman Hawkins – “Love Song from Apache” (Today & Now)
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I met Hawkins at the Village Vanguard when he was playing there with his quartet and I introduced myself – I was I my late 20’s. I told him how much I admired him. I sure wish I could have played with him!

I first performed the song on my Quartet West CD Always Say Goodbye recorded in 1993 with Ernie Watts on tenor sax, Alan Broadbent on piano and Larance Marable on drums and strings. We play the song first and then I bring in Coleman Hawkins’ original version so that everyone could hear what inspired me.


Quartet West – “My Love and I/Love Song from Apache” (Always Say Goodbye)
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In making our most recent Quartet West album (Sophisticated Ladies) I asked our friend and musicologist Rick Starr, formerly of Hollywood Sheet Music, to find some lyrics to this song because I couldn’t find any anywhere. It got to the point that I was gong to call David Raksin’s estate to see if I could commission someone to write lyrics to it but right before that happened, Rick found the lyrics in some forgotten vault. And the greater surprise was that they had been written by no other than the great Johnny Mercer. What a find! Mercer was a writing partner to David Raksin as he wrote the lyrics to “Laura” another beautiful song composed by Raksin. (I’ll have to write about David Raksin another time.)

Ruth and I both envisioned Cassandra Wilson singing this. It’s a premiere as the song has never been performed before with lyrics.


Quartet West featuring Cassandra Wilson – “My Love and I” (Sophisticated Ladies)
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Coleman Hawkins was one of the great innovators in the art-form of jazz and left us with a beautiful legacy.

-CH August,2011