“Avalon” is a song written by Al Jolson, Buddy DeSylva and Vincent Rose in 1920. It’s one of his more popular songs. Here’s the way he did it. (It’s not in the running, so don’t vote for it.)
It has since become a jazz standard, where it’s played considerably faster. I have three versions of the song in this Battle of the Bands, kind of like Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy from MAD magazine. I was struggling with which one to leave out of this battle, and finally decided to use all three.
The Benny Goodman Quartet The Benny Goodman Quartet was Goodman on clarinet, Teddy Wilson on piano, Lionel Hampton on vibraphone, and Gene Krupa on drums. From 1937.
Django Reinhardt et al. I believe this was recorded in 1934, and the only musicians I know for certain are on it are Django on guitar and Stephane Grappelli on violin. I used to have a roster which came with the Djangology box set, but of course it has been lost forever…
Louis Armstrong et al. The players are listed on the graphic in the video. I believe they’re members of The Dukes of Dixieland. This was recorded in 1960, so the sound quality is better than on the other two.
So the question remains, which of these three versions of the song do you like best? Listen to them, decide which you like the most, and vote by leaving me a comment with your choice, and a little bit about why you chose that over the other two. Then, if you’d be so kind, take a trip over to the Battle of the Bands blog of Stephen T. McCarthy, who will likely be running a battle today and who has a list of all the blogs whose owners might be having a Battle as well. Vote in Stephen’s battle and in the battles of those listed in the right-hand column. You need not be a participant in the Battle of the Bands to vote. The more the merrier, I say. I’ll announce the winners of this battle next Tuesday, May 22, so make sure I receive your vote by then.
The lines are now open. Good luck to Benny, Django, and Louis!