ALMOST BLUE - a new video (April 2021)
A beautiful song by Elvis Costello, originally issued on his 1982 album 'Imperial Bedroom'. The eerie and haunting quality of this piece is said to have been inspired by trumpeter Chet Baker and his 1950's recording of the American songbook standard 'The Thrill Is Gone'. In fact, Baker recorded a 7 minute version of 'Almost Blue' in the twilight of his career. He was also the featured trumpeter on Costello's magnificent recording of 'Shipbuilding'. For those interested, the friendship and collaboration of these two artists is more fully documented on Wikipedia. The film clips and stills are from 'The Big Combo', the brilliant and disturbing film noir directed by Joseph H Lewis in 1955, starring Cornel Wilde and Helen Walker, seen here, with Richard Conte, Jean Wallace and Lee Van Cleef.
Shamus Dark - vocals
Adrian Sledmere - ambient guitar
PRODUCED & ARRANGED by Pete Millward at Drum Studios, Hong Kong
Latest release March 2021
STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
NEW SINGLE OUT NOW AND AVAILABLE AT ALL GOOD DOWNLOAD AND STREAMING PLATFORMS
A very different version of a song made famous by Frank Sinatra way back in the 1960's. The video is below.
Valentines Day 2021
A new single to coincide with Valentines Day 2021. This my second recording of what is probably Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart's most famous song. Available now from all good streaming and download stores.
Shamus Dark - vocals
Alan Dunn - piano and keyboards
Dedi Madden - electric guitars
Victor Unukovsky - acoustic guitar solo
Andy Dewar - programming
PRODUCED by Andy Dewar
Written in 1941 during WW2, this is one of Hoagy Carmichael's loveliest creations, with lyrics to match by Johnny Mercer. Wikipedia states that "..the yearning expressed in the lyrics is based on Mercer's longing for Judy Garland, with whom he had an affair." Over the years, many famous vocalists have recorded the song including, K D Lang, Tony Bennet, Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan, Matt Monro and Aretha Franklin. It's also become a jazz standard, with versions by Art Blakey, Erroll Garner, Ella Fitzgerald, Earl Hines, Dexter Gordon and many more.
Vocal - Shamus Dark
Piano & keyboards - Rick Laughlin
Guitar & backing vocals - Paul Harvey
Saxophone - Sean Freeman
Bass - Paul Carmichael
Drums - Marc Parnell
PRODUCED by Marco Perry and Paul Harvey
Video devised and photographed by David Whitney
THE END OF A LOVE AFFAIR
Written by Edward C Redding in 1951, this is another American Songbook standard recorded by vocalists and jazz artists too numerous to mention. My favourite version is by Billie Holiday, who included it on a brilliant album 'Lady In Satin', recorded late in her career. Here then is a 21st century take on the song with hip-hop beats and taken from the album 'Songs For Suicidal Lovers', available at Apple Music, Spotify and all good internet download and streaming services.
Filmed on the waterfront, Hoboken NJ and at Caffe Reggio, Macdougal Street, Greenwich Village NYC.
Arranged and Produced by Pete Millward
Trumpet by Michael Kurtz