Angel Eyes (1946 song)

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"Angel Eyes" is a 1946 popular song composed by Matt Dennis, with lyrics by Earl Brent. It was introduced in the 1953 film Jennifer, where Matt Dennis sings the song and accompanies himself on piano, while Ida Lupino and Howard Duff among others are dancing to it.[1] First edition by Dorsey Bros Music a Div. of Music Sales Corp (ASCAP) 1946 (Renewed).

Composition[edit]


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"Angel Eyes" is a jazz standard which has inspired many interpretations. Many singers have recorded versions of the song, including Nat King Cole (already in 1953), Frank Sinatra, June Christy with Stan Kenton, Chet Baker, Shirley Bassey, Neil Sedaka, Willie Nelson with Ray Charles, and Sting. Ella Fitzgerald, who recorded "Angel Eyes" at least four times, named it her favorite song.[2] Instrumental versions were recorded not as often as vocal takes, by the likes of Benny Carter, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dave Brubeck, Kenny Burrell, Joe Albany, and more recently by McCoy Tyner, Gary Thomas and Joe Lovano.

Selected recorded versions[edit]

Performer Album Year Source
Karrin Allyson In Blue 2002 [3]
Gene Ammons Angel Eyes 1960 [4]
Ernestine Anderson Ernestine Anderson Swings the Penthouse 2015 [5]
Chet Baker with Len Mercer and His Orchestra Chet Baker with Fifty Italian Strings 1960 [6]
Shirley Bassey Shirley Bassey 1961 [7]
Cheryl Bentyne and Rob Wasserman Duets 1988 [8]
James Booker Classified 1982 [9]
Dee Dee Bridgewater Keeping Tradition 1993
The Dave Brubeck Quartet Angel Eyes 1966 [10]
Kenny Burrell Blues - The Common Ground 1968
Royce Campbell Trioing 2002
Benny Carter Cosmopolite 1954 [3]
June Christy Impromptu 1977
Nat King Cole with Billy May and His Orchestra single 1953 [11]
Chris Connor Chris in Person 1959 [12]
Hank Crawford More Soul 1961 [13]
Sonny Criss Saturday Morning 1975 [3]
Matt Dennis Matt Dennis Plays and Sings Matt Dennis 1954 [3]
Paul Desmond Glad to Be Unhappy 1965
Ray Draper with John Coltrane A Tuba Jazz 1959 [14]
Kat Edmonson Take to the Sky 2009
Eliane Elias Love Stories 2019 [15]
Ella Fitzgerald Ella in Rome: The Birthday Concert 1958 [3]
Roberta Flack Roberta 1994
Fonseca Sinfónico 2014
The Four Freshmen Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones 1955 [16]
Earl Grant Beyond the Reef 1962
Jim Hall Jim Hall Live! 1975
Jack Jones Wives and Lovers 1959 [17]
Stan Kenton and June Christy Road Show 1959
Moe Koffman Devil's Brew 1996
k.d. lang We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song 2007
Joe Lovano Rush Hour 1994 [3]
Barry Manilow Manilow Sings Sinatra 1998
Wynton Marsalis with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Wynton Marsalis' First Recordings 1980 [18]
Johnny Mathis Johnny Mathis 1956
Mina Mazzini Mina 1964
Carmen McRae Book of Ballads 1960
Helen Merrill with Gary Peacock Trio Sposin' 1971 [19]
The Modern Jazz Quartet Fontessa 1956 [20]
Mark Murphy Rah! 1961
Willie Nelson with Ray Charles Angel Eyes 1984 [21]
Phineas Newborn Jr. Phineas' Rainbow 1957 [22]
Anita O'Day Waiter, Make Mine Blues 1960 [23]
Duke Pearson Angel Eyes 1968 [24]
Oscar Peterson Pastel Moods 1956 [25]
Sue Raney Breathless! 1997
Jimmy Scott All the Way 1992 [26]
Neil Sedaka Circulate 1961
George Shearing Favorite Things 1997 [27]
Frank Sinatra Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely 1958 [3]
Kandace Springs with Norah Jones The Women Who Raised Me 2020 [28]
Sting Leaving Las Vegas 1995 [29]
Gary Thomas Till We Have Faces 1992
Bob Thompson Just for Kicks 1959 [30]
Rebecka Törnqvist A Night Like This 1993
McCoy Tyner The Turning Point 1991 [3]
Nancy Wilson Welcome to My Love 1968

References[edit]

  1. ^ The song already fades in during the previous sequence, before the actual ballroom scene: at 55:22 of the film uploaded on YouTube
  2. ^ "Angel Eyes" – Steyn's Song of the Week, February 9, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Angel Eyes - Gene Ammons". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  5. ^ Anderson, Ernestine (primary artist, vocals) (2015) [Recorded 7 February 1962]. Ernestine Anderson Swings the Penthouse (CD). United States: HighNote Records. HCD 7273.
  6. ^ Chet Baker with Fifty Italian Strings at Discogs (list of releases)
  7. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Shirley Bassey - Shirley Bassey". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  8. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Duets - Rob Wasserman". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  9. ^ Classified at Discogs
  10. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Angel Eyes - Dave Brubeck". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Angel Eyes" at Discogs
  12. ^ Chris in Person at Discogs (list of releases)
  13. ^ More Soul at Discogs (list of releases)
  14. ^ A Tuba Jazz at Discogs
  15. ^ Collar, Matt. "Love Stories - Eliane Elias | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  16. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Four Freshmen and Five Trombones". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  17. ^ Wives and Lovers at Discogs (list of releases)
  18. ^ Wynton Marsalis' First Recordings at Discogs. One of the several unofficial releases in 1983.
  19. ^ Sposin' at Discogs (list of releases)
  20. ^ Fontessa at Discogs (list of releases)
  21. ^ Chrispell, James. "Angel Eyes - Willie Nelson". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  22. ^ Phineas' Rainbow at Discogs (list of releases)
  23. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Waiter, Make Mine Blues - Anita O'Day". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  24. ^ Angel Eyes at Discogs (list of releases)
  25. ^ Pastel Moods at Discogs
  26. ^ All the Way at Discogs (list of releases)
  27. ^ Favorite Things at Discogs (list of releases)
  28. ^ The Women Who Raised Me at Discogs (list of releases)
  29. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Leaving Las Vegas". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  30. ^ Just for Kicks at Discogs (list of releases)

External links[edit]

  • "Angel Eyes" – Steyn's Song of the Week, February 9, 2014.