Candlelights (song)

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1930 sheet music cover, Robbins Music, New York.
1939 Commodore 78 release by Jess Stacy, 517A, Classics in Swing series.

"Candlelights" is a 1930 jazz composition for solo piano by cornetist Bix Beiderbecke. The song was the second in the series of four piano works which Bix Beiderbecke composed during his career.[1]


Bix Beiderbecke never recorded the song but did copyright the piano score on August 29, 1930 as "A Modern Composition for the Piano".[2] Bill Challis assisted with the transcription for piano. The score and the sheet music were published by Robbins Music in New York. "Candlelights" was recorded by jazz pianist Jess Stacy and was released as a 78 single in 1939 on Commodore Records as part of the Classics in Swing series, 517A.[3] Jazz trumpeter Bunny Berigan recorded the song in 1939 in an orchestral arrangement featuring trumpet.[4] Pianist Bryan Wright recorded the song in 2010 on piano. Kenny Werner recorded the instrumental in 1977 on Atlantic Records. Jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli recorded the song in 1986 on his album Solo Flight.

Notable recordings[edit]

"Candlelights" has been recorded by Jess Stacy,[5] Bunny Berigan, Bryan Wright, Geoff Muldaur's Futuristic Ensemble, Paul Mertz, Ralph Sutton, Oscar Pettiford with Tom Talbert, Tiger Dixie Band, Dick Hyman, Mike Polad, Joseph Smith, Bucky Pizzarelli, Patrick Artero, and Kenny Werner.

Album appearances[edit]

The song appeared on the following albums:

  • Bix Beiderbecke: Bix Restored, Vol. 1, Origin Records, 1995
  • Bix Beiderbecke: 1929-1930, Vol. 8, Masters of Jazz, 1996
  • Bix Beiderbecke: In a Mist: His Best Works, Definitive Classics, 2007
  • Kenny Werner, The Piano Music of Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, James P. Johnson, Atlantic, 1977
  • Bucky Pizzarelli: Solo Flight, Stash, 1986



  • Berton, Ralph. Remembering Bix. Harper & Row, 1974.
  • Castelli, Vittorio, Evert (Ted) Kaleveld, and Liborio Pusateri. The Bix Bands: A Bix Beiderbecke Disco-biography. Raretone, Milan, 1972.
  • Collins, David R. Bix Beiderbecke: Jazz Age Genius. Morgan Reynolds, Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina, 1998.
  • Evans, Philip R. and Linda K. Evans. Bix: The Leon Bix Beiderbecke Story. Bakersfield, Calif.: Prelike Press, 1998. ISBN 0-9665448-0-3.
  • Lastella, Aldo. "La vita e la leggenda di Bix Beiderbecke". Nuovi Equilibri S.R.L., Roma, 1991.
  • Lion, Jean Pierre. Bix: The Definitive Biography of a Jazz Legend: Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke. New York: Continuum, 2005.
  • Sudhalter, Richard M. and Philip R. Evans with William Dean-Myatt. Bix: Man and Legend. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1974. ISBN 0-02-872500-X.
  • Teachout, Terry. "Homage to Bix", Commentary, September 2005, pp. 65–68.