The Great American Songbook Countdown – #10: I Cover The Waterfront

Terence BlanchardUsually my daughters and I “dance” (if you want to call it that) to music from our Sirius music channels before they go to bed. We normally stick to the classic R&B and hip hop stations; however, a few days ago, I decided to check out the classic jazz station. The station was playing Ella Fitzgerald’s cover of Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady”. “Great,” I thought as I turned the volume up. “My kids are going to love this!”

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I don’t think we even got through eight bars of the song before my oldest told me to change the station. I was a little disappointed; I believe that songs from the Great American Songbook (also known as standards) are some of the greatest compositions of American music ever created. Some of those songs mean just as much to me as the hymns I sing on Sunday or the music that I blog about here. Given that, it’s only fair that I run down my favorites.

My number 10 song is “I Cover The Waterfront”. I heard this for the first time in 1993, on Terence Blanchard’s Billie Holiday Songbook. I can’t count the nights I fell asleep listening to that album; in fact, when I met Mr. Blanchard some years later, I told him that this was the album that made me fall in love with jazz1.Even though Billie’s version is more melancholy, my favorite will always been Blanchard’s rendition.

Terence Blanchard – I Cover The Waterfront


  1. Other great Terence Blanchard albums include: Simply Stated, The Heart Speaks (a great collaboration with Ivan Lins), Romantic Defiance and his work on Mo Betta Blues with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.

Leave a Reply