"Love At Last" - Bennie Green
The 1941 musical film Nice Girl? features the showtune “Love At Last,” composed by director Charles Previn and performed by Deanna Durbin, which shares little resemblance to Bennie Green’s 1960 recording. Without a physical copy of the album credits for Swings The Blues, one can only assume that Green’s version is an original composition.
The ballad relies on the strength of its melodic phrasing to determine the tempo, following the close-moving chord tones and ii-V7-I progressions in the bridge; the rhythm section must provide a flexible pocket in service of the lead voice. Don’t adhere to this rhythmic transcription (or the accuracy of my chord changes). But do take note of the octave leap as the trombone re-enters after the piano bridge to close out the tune. Some trombone love at last.
Here is where I usually include a YouTube video example for reference, however there isn’t much existing footage of Bennie Green in general. Perhaps with enough Patreon support, I could create a video of myself working this tune. *cough, cough*
Recommended reading: “Bennie Green: An Appreciation” by Gordon Jack, as appears on Jazz Profiles