Catherine Russell single, “I Want To Talk About You,” in celebration of Valentine’s Day and Black History Month, to benefit The Jazz Foundation of America.
Billy Eckstine, the famed vocalist and orchestra leader, wrote music and lyrics to “I Want To Talk About You.” Eckstine’s orchestra first recorded the tune on December 5, 1944. His 17 piece orchestra on the recording included such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, and Dexter Gordon, arranged by Tadd Dameron and released as a single in 1945.
Billy Eckstine was hugely successful. He was known as the “sepia Sinatra.” Eckstine introduced many greats who played as members of his orchestra, including Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.
The melody and harmonic changes of “I Want To Talk About You” held great appeal as a bed for improvisation, for instrumentalists and vocalists alike. John Coltrane recorded and performed the tune, which was also covered by Nancy Wilson, Ray Charles, and Ella Fitzgerald.
A love ballad with such a pedigree held great appeal for Catherine Russell, who’s sensual reading of “I Want To Talk About You,” joins the ranks of notable interpretations by jazz greats.