Friday, January 14, 2011

Sleepsongs: A Sleepin’ Bee

Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley: A Sleepin‘ Bee


Hey, did you know that Truman Capote wrote a musical? It’s true. It was called House of Flowers. The music was by Harold Arlen. The show debuted in December of 1954, with Pearl Bailey as the established star, and Diahann Carroll the up and coming star in the cast. Even with all that talent involved though, the show was a flop. So why even mention it?

The reason is that the songs survived and thrived. In particular, A Sleepin’ Bee became a standard, recorded by many jazz singers to this day. This version by Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley is a fine example of why the song survives. The song has both tender and playful aspects. Some singers perform it as a ballad, but this swinging version is closer to the tempo in the original version from the show.

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