Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jam Session Song of the Week (7): Coquette

Here is another song that has had a long life and been recorded countless times...  and yet it is not necessarily a well-known "standard."  It's strange how that happens.  Anyway, I like it, and it meets an important requirement: it's very simple.

Coquette (aka Little Coquette) was written in 1928 by Johnny Green, Carmen Lombardo, and Gus Kahn.  It was recorded by several bands at that time...  in, actually, not-very swinging versions (Guy Lombardo 1928, Paul Whiteman 1929, Dorsey Brothers 1928).  It should not be confused with the song of the same title written by Irving Berlin in the same year!

For our dancing purposes, things get interesting a little later.  Bob Crosby's band applied their unique style to this song in 1937.  This probably was the version that set the song on a new, dancing path.  To see how far it evolved, be sure to look at the last video below.

The song itself is quite simple in chords and melody, but the melody has a big range, making it somewhat hard to sing.  Still, for jam sessions, a song this simple is good.

Here is the lead sheet from the Firehouse Fakebook:

I'm not sure why they mark the sections as "A" and "B."  I would call it an AABA form.

Here is our simplified chord chart:

There is not too much more to say about this song.  But here are a lot of great versions...  Especially the Louis Armstrong.

This one is a little silly...

The inimitable James Booker:

Western Swing:

Rock and Roll!

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