As the Friday Cocktail Hour emperor, I hereby decree April to be Irving Berlin month. Why? Why the hell not?
Irving Berlin wrote Steppin’ Out With My Baby for the 1948 Astaire-Garland movie Easter Parade. Maybe that’s why it’s Berlin month: Easter approaches.
We begin with this spectacular Fred Astaire dance number from Easter Parade:
Here’s an even jazzier version by Astaire with Oscar Peterson, Charlie Shavers, Flip Phillips, Barney Kessel, Alvin Stoller, and Ray Brown:
Fred Astaire wasn’t the only movie star steppin’ out. So was Doris Day.
In 1993, Tony Bennett recorded the Berlin classic. This video helped fuel Bennett’s career resurgence in the Nineties and beyond.
Finally, a 21st Century version by Banu Gibson and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli:
There aren’t any instrumental versions of this week’s song that meet my standard for standards. Instead, here’s Joe Jackson with *his* Steppin’ Out.
That’s it for this week. Let’s toast the end of one month and the beginning of another. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.