Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jaki Graham - What a Little Moonlight Can Do (2012)

"Jaki Graham has been one of the UK's leading female soul vocalists since the release of her first solo single ‘What's The Name Of Your Game’ in 1984. To date Jaki has scored six UK Top 10/20 singles and two Top 5 singles in the U.S. Dance charts including the monster No.1 ‘Ain't Nobody’."*

...and in all that time she has never done a straightforward ska/reggae song - until now. (Yes, I know she has touched upon a quasi reggae sound in the past - she did a reggae inspired version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with David Grant.)

Her latest album "For Sentimental Reasons" has a cover of the Jazz standard "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" that was made popular by Billie Holiday in 1935.
It was re-recorded by Billie Holiday in 1954 and that version was covered by Peggy Lee on her 1959 album "Jump For Joy". It was also a regular feature in Benny Goodman's set (probably where Peggy Lee got the idea) and was also recorded by Diana Ross, Nancy Wilson, Bing and Gary Crosby, Crystal Gayle, Dianne Reeves, Betty Carter, Anita O'Day,
...and countless others including Robert Palmer on his 1992 album Ridin' High

Robert Palmer did a lot of reggae inspired stuff, but his version of What a Little Moonlight Can Do was directly inspired by the 1935 Billie Holiday version. He did not make it a reggae song.
In fact, I can't find a reggae version of this song anywhere. This is the first as far as I know (and I'd love it if someone can prove me wrong.)

Jaki Graham - What a Little Moonlight Can Do (2012)

[I cannot post a download link - the album was just released on October 15th, 2012 but you can support the artist by buying this song HERE]

*quoted from Cherry Red

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an incredible arrangement, truly. So many artists put out perfunctory readings of standards to satisfy an aging audience, but this entire album is one of the rare occasions where these songs have been seen through a pair of newly inspired lenses. Thanks for the heads-up on something I did not expect! Trying to track down her version of "Have Youself...", as well.