April in Paris (song)

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"April in Paris"
Composer(s)Vernon Duke
Lyricist(s)E.Y. Harburg
"April in Paris" refrain, mm.8-11.[1] About this soundPlay 
"April in Paris"
Song by Count Basie Orchestra
from the album April in Paris
Songwriter(s)Vernon Duke (composer)
Producer(s)Norman Granz

"April in Paris" is a popular song composed by Vernon Duke with lyrics by Yip Harburg in 1932 for the Broadway musical Walk a Little Faster. The original 1933 hit was performed by Freddy Martin, and the 1952 remake (inspired by the movie of the same name) was by the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, whose version made the Cashbox Top 50. Composer Alec Wilder writes, "There are no two ways about it: this is a perfect theater song. If that sounds too reverent, then I'll reduce the praise to 'perfectly wonderful,' or else say that if it's not perfect, show me why it isn't."[2]


Count Basie version[]

Count Basie's 1955 recording on the album of the same name is the most famous, and that particular performance was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[3] The arrangement was by Wild Bill Davis.[4] On this recording, trumpeter Thad Jones played his famous "Pop Goes the Weasel" solo, trombonist Benny Powell performed his much noted bridge,[5] and Basie directs the band to play the shout chorus "one more time" and then "one more once."

A revised arrangement of the song, played by the Count Basie Orchestra in a cameo appearance, is also featured in the 1974 film Blazing Saddles. Basie's recording is also featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, on the fictional jazz radio station JNR 108.5.

Other versions[]

Freddy Martin and Henry King had the earliest hits of this song, at the very end of 1933.[6]

It has been performed by many artists, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Billy Eckstine, Bill Evans, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Frank Sinatra, Mary Kaye Trio, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Erroll Garner, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Benny Goodman, Dinah Shore, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Joni James, Blossom Dearie, Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Alex Chilton, Wynton Marsalis, Andy Williams, Michel Legrand, and Dawn Upshaw.

See also[]


  • Ted Gioia The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire Oxford University Press; Oxford 2012; ISBN 978-0199937394


  1. ^ Scott DeVeaux (Autumn, 1999). "'Nice Work if You Can Get It'- Thelonious Monk and Popular Song", p.179, Black Music Research Journal, Vol. 19, No. 2, New Perspectives on Thelonious Monk.
  2. ^ Wilder, Alec (1972). American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 357. ISBN 0-19-501445-6.
  3. ^ Count Basie - April in Paris - Verve Records
  4. ^ Andrew Jaffe, revised by Barry Kernfeld (20 January 2002). "Davis, Wild Bill [William Strethen ]". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J114700.
  5. ^ http://www.trombone-usa.com/powell_benny_bio.htm,
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. p. 472. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.

External links[]

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