Take Five: A Weekly Jazz Sampler

Hop And Bop: Jazz For Easter

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Ella Fitzgerald: Putting all her Easter eggs in one basket. i i

hide captionElla Fitzgerald: Putting all her Easter eggs in one basket.

Photo Illustration: Lars Gotrich/Photos: William Gottlieb/Library of Congress via Flickr, iStock.
Ella Fitzgerald: Putting all her Easter eggs in one basket.

Ella Fitzgerald: Putting all her Easter eggs in one basket.

Photo Illustration: Lars Gotrich/Photos: William Gottlieb/Library of Congress via Flickr, iStock.

With Easter coming up on Sunday, every store around seems to be filled with cheerful displays incorporating bunnies, chicks and Easter eggs. Marshmallow Peeps have taken over candy aisles. Television has been filled with commercials for a major film about the teenage son of the Easter Bunny who would rather be a drummer than take over the family business. But if being hopped up on baskets full of sugary springtime sweets doesn't put a spring in your step, then here are five songs to help you hop into the Easter spirit.

Hop And Bop: Jazz For Easter

Cover for Ella and Louis Again

I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket

  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
  • Album: Ella and Louis Again

Two of the most recognized voices in jazz history team up for this Irving Berlin tune. "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket" was originally introduced by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1936 musical comedy film Follow the Fleet. It sounds decidedly different in the hands of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong — much more jazz than Broadway.

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  • "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket"
  • Album: Ella and Louis Again
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
  • Label: Verve
  • Released: 1957
 
Cover for Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges

Bunny

  • Artist: Gerry Mulligan & Johnny Hodges
  • Album: Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges

This 1959 album marked the only time Gerry Mulligan and Johnny Hodges recorded together in the studio; "Bunny" was penned by Mulligan with Hodges in mind. The title refers to one of Hodges' nicknames, "Rabbit." The two saxophonists blend together perfectly in this laid-back tune.

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  • "Bunny"
  • Album: Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges
  • Artist: Gerry Mulligan & Johnny Hodges
  • Label: Verve
  • Released: 1960
 
Cover for Pandora

Lullaby For Rabbit

  • Artist: Makoto Ozone
  • Album: Pandora

The first few notes of pianist Makoto Ozone's "Lullaby for Rabbit" bounce gently, evoking an image of a rabbit exploring here and there. Some might think a lullaby should be a nice, slow ballad, but there's a gentle playfulness to the song, which builds to a sprightly tempo fit for the titular rabbit.

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  • "Lullaby for Rabbit"
  • Album: Pandora
  • Artist: Makoto Ozone
  • Label: Verve
 
Cover for Stan Getz and the Cool Sounds

Rustic Hop

  • Artist: Stan Getz
  • Album: Stan Getz and the Cool Sounds

Valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer joins saxophonist Stan Getz for this fast-paced romp. Getz, one of the fathers of the "cool jazz" sound, shows that he could border on the hot side if he wanted to. The interplay between Brookmeyer and Getz is fantastic, with the two talents seeming to inspire each other.

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  • "Rustic Hop"
  • Album: Stan Getz and the Cool Sounds
  • Artist: Stan Getz
  • Label: Universal/Verve
  • Released: 1957
 
Cover for Standard Time, Vol. 3: The Resolution of Romance

Big Butter And Egg Man

  • Artist: Wynton Marsalis
  • Album: Standard Time, Vol. 3: The Resolution of Romance

"Big Butter and Egg Man" is a 1926 standard originally written for Louis Armstrong. Here, it's given a loving touch through the warm, clear tone of Wynton Marsalis' trumpet. The song's title was taken from slang of the era in which it was penned, referring to a man who's a big spender.

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Big Butter and Egg Man"
  • Album: Standard Time, Vol. 3: The Resolution of Romance
  • Artist: Wynton Marsalis
  • Label: CBS Records
  • Released: 1990
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