Tunes on Tuesday – It Could Happen To You

Why this tune?

“It Could Happen To You” is an excellent example of what makes the Great American Songbook great – interesting lyrics and interesting harmonies that are fun to solo on. I’m clearly not the only one who thinks so – this song has about as many instrumental versions as vocal ones. It’s so popular among the jazz players that Sonny Rollins wrote his own melody over the changes called “Fried Bananas”

Dig this detail!

When I’m writing songs, I’m always asking myself how many words I need before the song is “done”. Judging from the example of this tune, it doesn’t take much. The lyrics tell a complete story in only 13 lines. Clearly less is more.

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The great Karrin Allyson recorded both the original tune and Fried Bananas in one track on her 1996 album Collage

Of course there are also hundreds of excellent instrumental versions of this song. Here’s a fine version by Keith Jarrett from his Tokyo ’96 album:

And Bud Powell!

Published by Oren Levine

Jazz pianist and composer from Washington, DC. Also a digital product and technology consultant currently working with nonprofit cllients

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