Autumn Leaves (1945 song)
|"Les feuilles mortes"|
|Song by Yves Montand and Irène Joachim|
|English title||"Autumn Leaves"|
|Lyricist(s)||Jacques Prévert (French), Johnny Mercer (English)|
"Autumn Leaves" is a popular song. Originally it was a 1945 French song, "Les Feuilles mortes" (literally "The Dead Leaves"), with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma - derived from a ballet piece of music (Rendez-vous, written for Roland Petit), itself partly borrowed from Poème d'octobre by Jules Massenet - and lyrics by French poet Jacques Prévert. The Hungarian title is "Hulló levelek" (Falling Leaves). Yves Montand (with Irène Joachim) introduced "Les feuilles mortes" in the film Les Portes de la nuit (1946).
Structure and chord progression
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The song is in AABC form. "Autumn Leaves" offers a popular way for beginning jazz musicians to become acquainted with jazz harmony as the chord progression consists almost solely of ii–V–I and ii–V sequences which are typical of jazz. It was originally, and is most commonly, performed in the key of G minor, but is also played in E minor and other keys. Eva Cassidy's version (clip on the right) is played in B-flat minor.
Recordings and covers
- Harry James, Trumpet After Midnight (1954)
- Erroll Garner, Concert by the Sea (1955)
- Ahmad Jamal, The Ahmad Jamal Trio (1955)
- Cannonball Adderley with Miles Davis, Somethin' Else (1958)
- Doris Day, Day By Day (1956)
- Vince Guaraldi, A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing (1957)
- Frank Sinatra, Where Are You? (1957)
- Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz (1959)
- Andy Williams, Lonely Street (1959)
- The Melachrino Strings (1950)
- Edith Piaf sang both French and English versions of this song on December 24, 1950, on the radio program The Big Show
- Wynton Kelly, Wynton Kelly! (1961)
- The Coasters, One by One (1960).
- Patti Page, Indiscretion (1960)
- Serge Gainsbourg paid tribute to this song in his own song "La chanson de Prévert" (1961).
- The Temperance Seven, The Temperance Seven 1961 (1961)
- Caterina Valente with Stanley Black & His Orchestra, Great Continental Hits Album (1962)
- The Everly Brothers, Instant Party! (1962)
- McCoy Tyner, Today and Tomorrow (1963)
- Miles Davis, Miles Davis in Europe (1963)
- Al Hirt, They're Playing Our Song (1965)
- Charles Lloyd, Dream Weaver (1966)
- Manfred Mann, As Is (1966)
- Sergio Franchi, I'm a Fool to Want You (1968)
- Miles Davis played the song as part of his live repertoire from 1960 until 1966. Except for the session with Cannonball Adderley in 1958, Davis never recorded the tune in a studio. Several concerts were recorded and released for the most part by Columbia. The earliest concert recordings of the song played by the Miles Davis Quintet are from 1960 capturing his ensemble in a transitional phase with Sonny Stitt on tenor saxophone. The following recordings featured tenorist Hank Mobley (In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, 1961), then George Coleman (Live in Antibes, Live at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival), and since the Berlin concert in September 1964 with Wayne Shorter, establishing the "second great Miles Davis Quintet" (that soon would abandon completely the standard repertoire). After a second official release, The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965 (1995), the last known recording of Davis playing "Autumn Leaves" was at a concert in 1966 at the Oriental Theatre in Portland, Oregon, a bootleg from 2010.
- Stéphane Grappelli, Afternoon in Paris (1971)
- Jim Hall and Ron Carter, Alone Together (1972)
- Ben Webster and the Georges Arvanitas Trio, Autumn Leaves (1972).
- Chet Baker with Paul Desmond, She Was Too Good to Me (1974)
- Ryo Fukui, Scenery (1976)
- Toots Thielemans, Toots Thielemans Live (1978)
- Dorothy Ashby, Concierto de Aranjuez (1984)
- Keith Jarrett, Still Live (1986)
- "Autumn Leaves" is the corps song of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, and it is listed on their 1987 program.
- Chick Corea and Bobby McFerrin, Play (1990)
- coldcut philosophy (1993)
- Dee Dee Bridgewater, Keeping Tradition (1993)
- Eliane Elias, Solos and Duets (1994)
- Rickie Lee Jones, Naked Songs – Live and Acoustic (1995)
- Moe Koffman, "Devil's Brew" (1996)
- Eva Cassidy, Live at Blues Alley (1996)
- Paula Cole, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
- Raquel Bitton, Raquel Bitton sings Edith Piaf (2000).
- Jerry Lee Lewis, The Jerry Lee Lewis Show (2000).
- Patricia Kaas, Piano Bar (2002)
- Diamanda Galás, Guilty Guilty Guilty (2002)
- Eric Clapton, Clapton (2010)
- Mark Lanegan, Imitations (2013)
- Emmy Rossum, Sentimental Journey (2013)
- Bob Dylan, Shadows in the Night (2015)
- Dami Im, I Hear a Song (2018)
- Massin B. (1999). Les Joachim – Une famille de musiciens. Paris: Fayard.
- Spitzer, Peter (2001). Jazz Theory Handbook, p.81. ISBN 0-7866-5328-0.
- Kostka, Stefan; Payne, Dorothy; Almén, Byron (2013). Tonal harmony with an introduction to twentieth-century music (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 46, 238. ISBN 978-0-07-131828-0.
- Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
- The Big Show. "BigShow-02". BigShow. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
As carried on Internet radio at
- The Coasters, One by One Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- François, Corinne (2000). Jacques Prévert, Paroles. Editions Bréal. p. 109. ISBN 978-2-84291-702-9.
- "As Is". AllMusic.com.
- "Sergio Franchi". Gemm.com.
- Cf. Miles Davis discography by Peter Losin.
- "Ben Webster: Autumn Leaves - Digipak - Futura Et Marge". Jazz Messengers. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- "Autumn leaves : Ben Webster et le Trio Georges Arvanitas (Music)". WorldCat.org. 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- Anonymous. "1987 Programs & Ticket Stubs". The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
As listed in 1987 program
- Jerry Lee Lewis, The Jerry Lee Lewis Show Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- damiimVEVO (2018-02-15), Dami Im - Autumn Leaves (Audio), retrieved 2018-06-16
- Anonymous. "Roger Williams". Nebraska Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
In 1965, Williams added a chorus and charted it again at no. 10 Billboard Easy Listening as "Autumn Leaves - 1965."
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1955