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Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Written: 1955

Music by: Tommy Wolf

Words by: Fran Landesman

Written for: Independent Publication
(not for a Broadway show, revue, movie, etc.)

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Main Stage || Record/Video Cabinet || Reading Room || Posted Comments || Credits

On the Main Stage at Cafe Songbook

Irene Kral


"Spring Can Really
Hang You Up the Most"

with Alan Broadbent, piano

on the album Where Is Love?


More Performances of
"Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most"
in the Cafe Songbook Record/Video Cabinet
including another by Getz.

(Please complete or pause one
video before starting another.)

Stan Getz (tenor sax)
Albert Dailey (piano)


"Spring Can Really
Hang You Up the Most"

recorded Irvington, New York
January 12, 1983 for the album Poetry


More Performances of
"Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most"
in the Cafe Songbook Record/Video Cabinet
(Video credit)


Cafe Songbook Reading Room

"Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most"

Critics Corner || Lyrics Lounge

About the Origins of the Song

Tommy Wolf: Wolf was a pianist, composer, arranger, and musical director who met Fran Landesman while she was sitting in the bar of the Crystal Palace, a night club in St. Louis, while he was on the bandstand playing. This experience inspired her to begin writing song lyrics and in 1952, Wolf began setting her lyrics to music. More Landesman–Wolf collaborations followed including the melodies for "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" and the score for the Broadway musical The Nervous Set.


Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf 1950s
Fran Landesman and
Tommy Wolf c. 1952

(courtesy of StlMag.com)


Album cover: "Storyville Presents Jackie and Roy" 1955)
Storyville Presents
Jackie and Roy

(CD and vinyl)



album cover: Bob Dorough "Small Day Tomorrow Fran Landesman Revisited"
Bob Dorough
Small Day Tomorrow
Fran Landesman Revisited


Bob Dorough co-wrote many songs with Fran Landesman and "the results were a finely tuned balance of her acidic, edgy wit" and their ability to fashion hip lyrics. His uniquely eccentric vocal style fit them to a "T."
" They were part of a perhaps less celebrated but no less respected group of songwriters who kept producing new works for jazz and cabaret singers after Berlin, Arlen, Kern, Gershwin, Porter and Rodgers stopped writing music. The American Songbook kept growing, as Dorough, David Frishberg, Alec Wilder, Fran Landesman, and others continued to write memorable songs." (adapted quotation from NPR.org)

Given that lyricists of The Great American Songbook are often inclined to include irony in their work, it is not surprising that spring as used in their songs is often linked to pain rather than to the sweetness, joy and light more commonly associated with that season. Richard Rodger's two most celebrated lyricists both employ an irony related to spring. In his lyric for "Spring Is Here," Lorenz Hart gets rattled because even though spring has arrived his heart is not dancing and the breeze does not delight him. In the song's verse he writes, "Now April, May and June / Are sadly out of tune." And Oscar Hammerstein in his lyric for "It Might as Well Be Spring" also finds himself discombobulated by having feelings he has always associated with spring when "it isn't even spring." Fran Landesman's attention was piqued by an irony of spring in T. S. Eliot's prototypical modernist poem "The Wasteland" of 1921, which was virtually required reading for all liberal arts students of the mid twentieth century. Eliot's poem begins with the painfully ironic statement, "April is the cruellest month"; and Landesman having grown up in the shadow of that poem, and her life as a poet and lyricist having begun during the Beat period of the 1950's found herself challenged by a desire to express Eliot's irony in the "hip" language of her own era -- and came up with "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most."

In the early 1950s Fran had moved with her husband Adam Landesman from New York to St. Louis where their lives became immersed in Adam's newly founded club The Crystal Palace, a very hip spot in Gaslight Square. As the story goes, Fran, while sitting at the club's bar listening to jazz pianist Tommy Wolf play,* decided to show him her new poem. Wolf, undoubtedly recognizing how "hip" the poem was, set it to music. Not long afterwards, among the many famous and very "hip" people who visited the club was jazz pianist George Shearing who heard Wolf and Landesman perform the song and liked it so much that he taped it and brought it back to New York. There he showed it to the very "hip" young performers Jackie and Roy (Jackie Cain and Roy Kral) who in 1955 recorded it and put it on their very first album, Storyville Presents Jackie and Roy (See a and listen at right.). The rest, as they say, is history: "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" became a first class jazz standard recorded by all those "hip" singers and musicians listed in the right column on this page as well as many more. One of them, Irene Kral, younger sister of Roy Kral (of Jackie and Roy) recorded it in 1974 -- a peerless version of great beauty featured on the Cafe Songbook Main Stage above.
(*Another version of the story has Fran giving her new poem to Tommy Wolfe while he was playing at the Jefferson Hotel in St. Louis in 1951, which would have predated the opening of the Crystal Palace.)

Poet and lyricist Fran Landesman traces her history back to Saint Louis in the 1950s when she and her husband Adam Landesman moved to the city's West End and there founded the Crystal Palace nightclub in Gaslight Square. The legendary club welcomed the hippest young acts of the era, mostly before they became well known to the rest of the world. Among its performers were Lenny Bruce, The Smothers Brothers, Del Close (later of Second City fame), a very young Woody Allen and an even younger Barbra Streisand.

Bob Dorough (vocal and piano)
"Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most"
from his album Right on My Way Home (1997).



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Critics Corner

book cover: "The Jazz Standards" by Ted Gioia
Ted Gioia
The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire
New York:
Oxford University Press, 2012.

Ted Gioia considers Tommy Wolfe to be"an exceptional songwriter. . . . one of the most talented of his generation." Gioia continues, "Wolf benefited enormously from the contributions of lyricist Fran Landesman who wrote the words for his best songs. ' For "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," Wolf responded to Landesman's words by creating "a poignant melody that gave emotional depth to Landesman's arch lyrics." Gioia continues, "There is much to admire here, with both the main theme and the bridge sustaining the poignancy of the piece; but I especially like Wolf's clever alteration of the final restatement of the A theme, which briefly hints at a modulation down a fifth before retuning to the tonic key."

Gioia also comments:

At one point, the lyrics make playful reference to "Spring is Here" [by Rodgers and Hart], but in its serpentine motion this piece reminds me of still another cherished "spring" standard by Richard Rodgers [with lyric by Oscar Hammerstein]: "It Might As Well Be Spring." I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Wolf used the earlier song as a role model. In any event, Wolf and Landesman created something here that rises above their ambitions for a hipster's ode to spring. It works a a dramatic monologue turned ballad that can serve as the emotional centerpiece of a public performance or can work just as well as a melancholy reverie that the pianist at the bar plays to an empty room before calling it quits for the night. (Gioia, The Jazz Standards, p. 393 hardcover Ed.)

Intimate Nights: The Golden Age of New: Gavin, James

James Gavin, Intimate Nights The Golden Age of New York Cabaret, Limelight Editions, 1992
(A significantly revised version of this book was published by Backstage Books in 2006 that does not include the material referenced here.)

Jackie and Roy, who, in 1955 were the first to record "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most,"after they received the song from songwriters Wolf and Landesman via George Shearing, would have been likely to have performed it first in New York at the Blue Angel cabaret where they made their New York City debut in 1954. James Gavin writes of them that along with performing show tunes which were then the staple of their repertoire, "they took pride in introducing songs by such young writers as Tommy Wolf and Lyricist Fran Landesman, premiering that duo's 'Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most,' the hippest torch song of the day." (Gavin, p. 152, Intimate Nights, Limelight paperback Ed.)

Classic American Popular Song: The Second Half-Century, 1950-2000 by David Jenness and Don Velsey
David Jenness and Don Velsey
Classic American Popular Song: The Second Half-Century, 1950-2000
New York: Routledge, 2006

David Jenness and Don Velsey in their book Classic American Popular Songs state directly that they "spend time on this well known song because it is so beautifully made. . . . as fresh today as in the troubled 1950s." They assert that "Spring songs fall into two categories, the light-hearted, often silly ones and those speaking of the bittersweet disappointment of lost love." "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" is for them unequivocally "of the latter genre." They point out various musical factors such as underlying chords that are often dark, the use of discord, "descending chains of thirds," and "a bridge that reinforces the downward feeling" all of which underpins the song's sadness. Still, they point out that the entire song is not without its lighter portions:

The pattern is that each long phrase of the chorus begins with rising notes expressing the more conventional or hopeful words about spring; then ruefulness comes in, with notes around the lower key-tone, and finally there is a decline into a dark mood. It's easy enough to write a lyric in an entirely bittersweet register, but a mixture like this takes a lot of control, so that the humor doesn't become jokey, or yearning become bathos. ( See Jenness and Velsey, pp. 224-229, hardcover Ed.)

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Lyrics Lounge

Like the Bob Dorough album (above in this column), all lyrics are by
Fran Landesman

album cover: "A Ghost in Every Bar The Lyrics of Fran Landesman
A Ghost in Every Bar
(The Lyrics of Fran Landesman)

Ian Shaw


from a review of Ian Shaw album A Ghost in Every Bar by Amazon Reviewer dnd:
"On this recording, he [Ian Shaw] is partnered with the refined and austere pianist, Simon Wallace. Wallace also collaborated with Ms. Landesman on 12 of the 15 songs presented. Having the composer at the piano is an auspicious treat, indeed! Wallace's economy of style is reflected in Shaw's relatively straight-forward and unadorned interpretive approach. A simplicity certainly appropriate to Landesman's ultimately erudite text (and to address a previous reviewer's complaint regarding Shaw's "non-US accent" - it is completely and utterly a non-issue). But make no mistake - there is much emotion here. Shaw plumbs the depths of Landesman's lyrics with bare restraint in songs such as "Scars", "Killing Time" and the signature "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most", while joyfully swinging through "Feet Do Your Stuff" and "In A New York Minute". The program closes with the poignant and quietly revolutionary "Ballad Of The Sad Young Men", featuring the mournful, plaintive trumpet of Sue Richardson, and sung by Shaw with such heart-breaking dignity. This project is quite the meeting of minds and talent, and a true artistic achievement. One of my desert-island discs, to be sure!!"

See the "Comments" section just below for a version of the full lyric of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most."

The verse characterizes the singer as formerly "a sentimental thing," but Spring has converted her into a realist. In the past, she got seduced each Spring, "threw away her heart" every time that ever so romantic season arrived. But after many disappointments has forsaken unrealistic Spring for the harsh honesty of Winter: "Now a Spring romance / Hasn't got a chance, / Promised my first dance to Winter."

The first refrain opens with a simile that reveals the speaker as paralyzed from her past experience with Spring so that just when she ought to be full of energy and ready to get into the race, she is "feeling like a horse that has never left the post." Spring has hung her up. Of all the sights and sounds of spring that ought to be motivating her, she says, in one of the songs poignant triads, "Head it before / And I know the score, /And I've decided that Spring is a bore!"

The second refrain informs us through a bit of striking hyperbole that the effects of the season are universal: "Robins [are] building nests from coast to coast." So she tries to be robin-like herself, but it's a painful sham: "My heart tries to sing / So they won't hear it breaking. / Spring can really hang you up the most." As in the first refrain, she again reveals her paralysis, but now she never even gets to the starting line. By changing the venue for her metaphor from one in which she ventures out to the expansive racetrack that at least holds out a chance for victory, now all she can manage is a retreats to her claustrophobic closet: "But I'm on the shelf / With last year's Easter bonnets, / Spring can really Hang you up the most." Finally she tries the doctor for a cure. His phony prescription is a none too tasty tonic ("Sulphur and Molasses was the dose.") but it "didn't help a bit" because she realizes her condition is "chronic" and, of course, "Spring can really Hang you up the most."

Ian Shaw "Spring Can Really Hang You Up
the Most" (from the 2012 album A Ghost in Every Bar, The Lyrics of Fran Landesman)

Ian Shaw "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" (lyrics by Fran Landesman, music by Tommy Wolf, featuring Sue Richards on trumpet, from the 2012 album A Ghost in Every Bar, The Lyrics of Fran Landesman)

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Visitor Comments

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Posted Comments on "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most":


From: Pete Collins, posted 06/23/2018:

The Lyrics Should be Posted! Too bad we can not get Fran's original lyrics. Below is taken from a number of different sung versions of this song, with the lyrics that make the most sense.

Once I was a sentimental thing,
Threw my heart away each spring.
Now a spring romance hasn't got a chance;
Promised my first dance to winter,
All I've got to show's a splinter for my little fling!

Spring this year has got me feeling
Like a horse that never left the post!
I lie in my room staring up at the ceiling,
Spring can really hang you up the most!

Morning's kiss wakes trees and flowers,
And to them I'd like to drink a toast.
I walk in the park just to kill lonely hours,
Spring can really hang you up the most.

All afternoon those birds twitter twit,
I know the tune, "This is love, this is it!"
Heard it before and I know the score,
And I've decided that spring is a bore!

Love seemed sure around the New Year,
Now it's April, love is just a ghost.
Spring arrived on time, only what became of you, dear?
Spring can really hang you up the most!

Spring is here, there's no mistaking,
Robins building nests from coast to coast.
My heart tries to sing so they won't hear it breaking,
Spring can really hang you up the most!

College boys are writing sonnets,
In the tender passion they're engrossed;
But I'm on the shelf like last years Easter bonnet,
Spring can really hang you up the most!

Love came my way, I hoped it would last.
We had our day, now that's all in the past!
Spring came along a season of song,
Full of sweet promise, but something went wrong!

Doctors once prescribed a tonic,
"Sulphur and molasses" was the dose.
Didn't help a bit, my condition must be chronic,
Spring can really hang you up the most!

All alone, the party's over,
Old man winter was a gracious host;
But when you keep praying for snow to hide the clover,
Spring can really hang you up the most!


From: Pete Collins, posted 07/16/2018: Thank you for using my lyrics to this amazing song. Other versions I have seen on the net have words that don't completely make sense with the words around them. While I appreciate that Jackie and Roy were the first to record this song, your list of other performers omits what I consider to be the best single vocal version of this song. In 1957 June Christy recorded this song, with orchestration by Pete Rugolo, for Capitol Records. More than any other vocal version of this song, June captures the poignant, melancholy nature of multiple loves lost each spring. The song is most definitely a song sung by a woman, and June does it to a T. I was not the first to recognize that June had the best vocal version. Sid McCoy, the famous Jazz disc jockey in Chicago in the 1960's was the one who put me on the her version, which was the only version he played on his late night Jazz radio show during those years.

Cafe Songbook respons 07/16/2018: Pete, Thanks for your comment. Leaving out the Christy version was certainly our "bad." It's a great recording made, according to our source, on August 15, 1958 and released on the 1959 album The Song is June. And here is the track:

June Christy vocal with Pete Rugulo orchestrator and leader,
recorded August 15, 1958 and originaly released on the 1959
album, The Song Is June.


album cover: "The Song Is June"


From Pete Collins, posted 07/18/2018: Guess I can' keep still about this song -- that to my mind is not appreciated enough by the general public. Quite a few Jazz musicians have recorded it, but it still remains somewhat obscure to the listening public -- possibly because it is a seasonal song for late winter or early spring.
Above I talk about lyric words that don't make sense. Well that problem even occurs in lyrics quoted earlier in this song posting, where it is written: ""Head it before / And I know the score," The word 'Head' does not make sense here because it is a typo for the word 'Heard.' So you will see the correct word 'Heard' in the lyrics that I posted above.
While I advocated strongly for the June Christy vocal version of this song, the observant will note that June does not sing all of the verses that I have posted above. She only sings the opening 5-line section and the first 4 verses before jumping to the last verse to close out the song. The verses that June does not sing can be heard on more complete versions by Ella Fitzgerald (not listed above, but worth hearing) or Carmen McRae.

Cafe Songbook responds 07/18/2018: A couple of things: First, thanks for calling attention to the Ella version. Her 1961 recording can be heard in the Cafe Songbook Record and Video Cabinet on this page, which should make it easy for people to compare and contrast Ella's and June's recordings. Also, it's worth mentioning a terminology issue. The term " verse" (click the preceding link for complete definition in the The Cafe Songbook Glossary.) as used by composers, lyricists, song publishers, etc. within the world of the Great American Songbook refers only to the introductory section of a song -- if it has a verse at all (e.g. the first five lines of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" is its verse.), whereas the other individual sections within a song are referred to as choruses or refrains. It can be confusing.



Click here to read Cafe Songbook lyrics policy.

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("Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" page)


Credits for Videomakers of videos used on this page:

  • Landesman interview: Living St. Louis from KETC TV, produced by Jim Kirchnerr who visits with Fran Landesman. Nine Network

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For further information on Cafe Songbook policies with regard to the above matters, see our "About Cafe Songbook" page (link at top and bottom of every page).

The Cafe Songbook
Record/Video Cabinet:
Selected Recordings of

"Spring Can Really
Hang You Up the Most"

(All Record/Video Cabinet entries below
include a music-video
of this page's featured song.
The year given is for when the studio
track was originally laid down
or when the live performance was given.)
Performer/Recording Index
(*indicates accompanying music-video)

Jackie and Roy
original release on the album
Storyville Presents Jackie and Roy (1955).

Notes: The first recording of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" made in May, 1955 was released on a ten inch LP titled Storyville Presents Jackie and Roy. It included twelve tracks featuring vocals by Jackie Cain accompanied by Roy Kral, Piano; Red Mitchell. bass; Shelly Manne, drums; and Barney Kessel, guitar.

The album is currently available on CD, MP3 and streaming under the title Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most at Amazon.

View reissue of original album at

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video before starting another.)

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1960 (recorded)/'61 (released)
Chris Connor and Maynard Ferguson
album: Double Exposure


Notes: "This album, DOUBLE EXPOSURE, has the finest arrangements of any Chris Connor album I listened to as a kid. Maynard Ferguson remains restrained for his explosive style, and he and his orchestra support the lovely, cool, vocals. No one ever sang like Chris Connor, and SPRING CAN REALLY HANG YOU UP THE MOST is her ultimate performance." (From Amazon reviewer Keith Alan Deutsch).
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video before starting another.)


Mark Murphy
album: Rah


Notes: Recorded in New York City, 1961 originally on Riverside Records. Tracks include "Angel Eyes", a version of Horace Silver's "Doodlin'," and "Green Dolphin Street" featuring Bill Evans, Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Blue Mitchell and Wynton Kelly.

The following from Amazon reviewer Professor: "This was a ground-breaking record when it was released (1961). At that point, Murphy was 29 years old and was already one of the best jazz singers in the world. The record companies originally tried to market him as a crooner, singing ballads and standards, which he did very well. Had he stayed with that kind of music, I'm sure he would have made more money. But he was a jazz singer to the core, and this record was the one that really established his direction. And he never looked back.

"I know that non-jazz people can appreciate Murphy, but I think you have to be a jazz musician to really get it. In his choice of notes and his phrasing, you can hear his intimate knowledge of the chords and harmonies, the rhythms and syncopation, all of the components that make up jazz. And Murphy can interpret lyrics well as as Sinatra or anybody else. In fact, blasphemous as it may sound, I think Murphy sings "Angel Eyes" better than Sinatra. His performance is absolutely riveting. Sorry, Frank!

"I'd say this record is the best introduction to Murphy for the uninitiated. Start here and work your way through his scores of recordings. You'll hear his evolution over the decades."

"Murphy belongs to an elite group--real jazz singers. Not singers who sometimes sing jazz tunes, but actual jazz singers who improvise like jazz instrumentalists: Betty Carter, Eddie Jefferson, Jon Hendricks, Anita O'Day, et al. Today's most popular jazz singer, Kurt Elling, credits Murphy as a major influence.

"We lost him last year [2015], and he was singing great right up to the end.
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Ella Fitzgerald
album: Clap Hands,
Here Comes Charlie!


Notes: The original album cover has artwork by Jean Dubuffet.

Ella is in fine form here backed by Lou Levy on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Joe Mondragon on bass, and Stan Levey on drums. Other notable tracks beside "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" include "A Night in Tunisia," "You're My Thrill," "Jersey Bounce," and the title track "Clap Hands! Here Comes Charlie."
The CD shown on the video just above was first released by Verve in 1989. The artwork on the original LP is by French modernist painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985). a 2012 release (available on both CD and vinyl) with the original artwork is also available from Amazon.

Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie by Ella Fitzgerald (2012-08-03)


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Sarah Vaughan
album: The Roulette Years (Vols. 1-2)


Notes: Sarah originally recorded "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" for her mono LP album Snowbound (Roulette SR 52091) originally released in 1962. Don Costa was both arranger and conductor. The arrangements are on the lush side employing strings freely, and quite a few songs are best for when you are snowbound after your heart has been broken and you're still dwelling on what happened -- songs like "What's Good About Goodbye," "Glad To Be Unhappy," and "I Fall In Love Too Easily." The song featured above, "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," doesn't make it sound as if the singer expects things to get much better after the snow melts. Despite all of this, it's a wonderful collection and we all need this kind of thing every once in a while.

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Stan Getz
album: Reflections


Notes: In his book The Jazz Standards, Ted Gioia writes that "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" "has been favored more by singers than instrumentalists, and clearly you don't get the full impact of the piece if you don't hear the words [by Fran Landesman]." But Gioia goes on to point out that Tommy Wolf's melody is definitely appealing enough to be heard on its own. This is especially so he suggests on versions by horn players who "have a taste for deep ballads." More specifically he cites two versions by Stan Getz, each of which is very different from the other: a full orchestra version on the track for the 1963 album Reflections (See the video just above.) and Goetz's "minimalist duet . . . with pianist Albert Dailey" from 20 years later -- 1983. Gioia notes, "both interpretations are essential recordings of this song." (Listen to the duet on the Cafe Songbook Main Stage above.)

book cover: "The Jazz Standards" by Ted Gioia
Ted Gioia
The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire
New York:
Oxford University Press, 2012.

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Carmen McRae
album: Bittersweet


Notes: The best account of Carmen McRae's album Bittersweet (and of her career at the point she made the album) is by James Gavin and can be read on his website.
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Hampton Hawes and Martial Solal
album: Key for Two


Notes: Recorded in Paris in January, 1968 and released in that year in France on BYG Records, and then on Pye Records in the UK in 1969 as the album Key for Two featuring Hampton Hawes and Martial Solal (two African - Americans, one of them living permanently in France) on piano, Pierre Michelot on bass, and Kenny Clarke on drums. Tracks include Tunes: "Key For Two," "Stella By Starlight," "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most," "Bag's Groove," "Lover Come Back To Me," "Fly Me To The Moon," and others. Also released in 1979 on Affinity (catalog no. AFF 31; Vinyl LP)

The following by Scott Yanow for Apple Music:
"Hampton Hawes was one of the finest jazz pianists of the 1950s, a fixture on the Los Angeles scene who brought his own interpretations to the dominant Bud Powell style. In the mid- to late '40s, he played with Sonny Criss, Dexter Gordon, and Wardell Gray, among others on Central Avenue. He was with Howard McGhee's band (1950-1951), played with Shorty Rogers and the Lighthouse All-Stars, served in the Army (1952-1954), and then led trios in the L.A. area, recording many albums for Contemporary. Arrested for heroin possession in 1958, Hawes spent five years in prison until he was pardoned by President Kennedy. He led trios for the remainder of his life, using electric piano (which disturbed his longtime fans) for a period in the early to mid-'70s, but returned to acoustic piano before dying from a stroke in 1977. Hampton Hawes' memoirs, Raise Up Off Me (1974), are both frank and memorable, and most of his records (for Xanadu, Prestige, Savoy, Contemporary, Black Lion, and Freedom) are currently available. ~ Scott Yanow" (View Hampton Hawes classic recordings at Amazon.
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Betty Carter
album: The Audience with Betty Carter


Notes: From iTunes commentary by Steve Huey:
"Arguably the most adventurous female jazz singer of all time, Betty Carter was an idiosyncratic stylist and a restless improviser who pushed the limits of melody and harmony as much as any bebop horn player. The husky-voiced Carter was capable of radical, off-the-cuff reworkings of whatever she sang, abruptly changing tempos and dynamics, or rearranging the lyrics into distinctive, off-the-beat rhythmic patterns. She could solo for 20 minutes, scat at lightning speed, or drive home an emotion with wordless, bluesy moans and sighs. She wasn't quite avant-garde, but she was definitely 'out'. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In 1979, she recorded The Audience With Betty Carter, regarded by many as her finest album and even as a landmark of vocal jazz."
(From iTunes commentary by Steve Huey).

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Jane Monheit (vocal)
with Kenny Barron (piano)
album: Come Dream with Me


Notes: Come Dream with Me, Monheit’s second album  was released in 2001 when she was 23. The album is mostly standards but with a couple of jazz compositions stirred into the mix. Jane is accompanied by jazz pianist Kenny Barron on all tracks with the exception of the last, “A Case of You” on which the pianist is Richard Bona.
Come Dream with Me
was recorded at Sear Sound, NYC, Jan\Feb. 2001.
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Barbra Streisand
album: Love is the Answer


Notes: Recordings of Barbra Streisand singing "Spring Can Hang You Up the Most" began in 1962 when she performed the song on The Tonight Show. As the story goes Barbra had received the music for the song directly from lyricist Fran Landesman on a visit by the singer to St. Louis, Landesman's home base. No doubt Fran hoped that Barbra would like the song and perform it, and indeed that was the case. Streisand recordings of the song can be found on the multi-disk CD set Just For The Record (on which can be heard the 1962 television performance).

Love is the Answer from 2009 was produced by Diana Krall who also accompanies Barbra on Piano. The arrangements are by Johnny Mandel. We recommend the Deluxe version of the album on which many of the songs are performed with full orchestra and, on separate tracks, with a quartet only. It is in the quartet versions, including 'Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," that Streisand's voice is more in focus and so her extraordinary interpretations more prominent.
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Cassandra Wilson
album: Loverly


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Bill Charlap Trio
album: Uptown, Downtown


Notes: The Bill Charlap Trio consists of Bill Charlap (piano), Peter Washington (bass), and Kenny Washington (drums).
"The trio celebrates 20 years together, choosing tunes from the very slow (“Bon ami”) to the hair-raisingly brisk (“The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else”), achieving a radiant lyricism and groove throughout. In this group’s hands, the venerable Ellington pick “Sophisticated Lady” sounds utterly and uncannily new" (from iTunes Apple Music Preview).
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