Tunes on Tuesday: That Old Feeling

Why this tune?

This week’s tune is “That Old Feeling,” another tune from “The Great American Songbook” that can still sound new almost 80 years after its first appearance in “Walter Wanger’s Vogues of 1938.” Thanks to YouTube and streaming services, it’s easy to explore the evolution of the song from the early recordings by “sweet” bands like Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra, through classic jazz versions by Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, to contemporary interpretations like Orrin Evans’ take with Rodney Whitaker and Ralph Peterson.

For a recording last week with singer Melinda de Rocker and bassist Mark Saltman, we came up with a Latin-flavored arrangement that the song comfortably supports, which you can hear in this piano track.

Most singers, including Melinda, only sing the chorus, a short eight lines about “that old feeling” triggered when the singer sees an old lover on the dance floor of a club. The smartest decision of the lyricist was to extend “old” over a whole measure, leaving plenty of space for a talented singer to tell a complete story in that one word.

Watch the story

Check it out!

Complete track

Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra (1937)

Ella Fitzgerald (with the verse)

Orrin Evans with Rodney Whitaker and Ralph Peterson


Published by Oren Levine

Jazz pianist and composer in Washington, DC. Also a digital product and technology professional working at a small DC nonprofit

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