This sparkling number first appeared in the film “High Society” (1956)**, which was based on Philip Barry’s stage play “The Philadelphia Story”, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly & Frank Sinatra. Crosby often claimed that “High Society” was his favorite film of all the movies that he made during his long career. If you love toe-tapping music and listening to the astounding, artistry of possibly the most iconic jazz master of the past century, (Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, one of the few jazz musicians whom Porter admired), this is a delightful piece of pure Cole Porter fun.
Porter attributed the idea for “Now You Has Jazz” to Fred Astaire, who took him to see one of Norman Granz’s (jazz record label owner & producer) concerts known as “Jazz at the Philharmonic”. Later he was introduced to Granz over the telephone, who gave him a short, introductory course in jazz terms. The song evolved from this phone call.
Armstrong & Crosby first met in 1926 at a live Armstrong performance in Chicago. Crosby was taken by the jazz trumpeter’s unique singing style & lively showmanship, which resulted in their working together on many venues over the next 40 years. Armstrong’s scat singing and the distinct clarity and power of his trumpet playing as he accompanies Crosby, the velvety, smooth crooner (Armstrong once described Crosby’s voice as having a “mellow quality, like gold poured out of a cup”) are pure magic on this recording.
** See also my post “You’re Sensational”, 4/9/17