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»I Know That You Know«

In 1926, a year after “Tea for Two,” which was to become one of his greatest hits, Vincent Youmans wrote “I Know That You Know.” Especially in the instrumental version, the song became a popular jazz tune and was covered many times by a variety of musicians, as early as 1926 by Cliff Edwards, and later by Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Kansas City Five, Gene Krupa, Coleman Hawkins, Glenn Miller and many others. Doris Day sang “I Know That You Know” in the feature film “Tea for Two.” Woody Allen used Gene Krupa’s version in his film “Crime and Other Trivia” (1989).

I have chosen the racy version of the gifted pianist Art Tatum from 1949. Tatum, who was nearly blind from youth, had absolute pitch and, in addition to his innate musicality, had superior technique. Charlie Parker is said to have applied for a job as a dishwasher in a New York restaurant as a teenager, just so he could hear Art Tatum, who played there regularly. Oscar Peterson, upon hearing Tatum play for the first time, is said to have believed that two pianists were playing simultaneously; so dense and complex was the sound that Tatum was capable of playing on the piano. Peterson called Art Tatum the greatest jazz instrumentalist of all time. It is said that Peterson “cried himself to sleep for months, when he heard Art Tatum’s Tiger Rag for the first time”. And the world-famous classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz was reportedly moved to tears. The sentence “If Art Tatum ever took up classical music seriously, I’d quit tomorrow” has been handed down from him.

Fats Waller, who perhaps influenced and inspired Tatum the most, was also deeply impressed; he is quoted as saying, “When this man gets going, nobody can hold a candle to him. He sounds like a whole brass band.” The great Leonard Feather called him the greatest soloist in jazz history, on any instrument.

So here are his best-known recordings from the 1930s (Tiger Rag starting at 6:53; Song oft he Vagabonds 10:42; and another 27 seconds of “I Know that you know” (14:40)

Or from the 50’s four versions of “Over the rainbow” !!!

And for the sake of completeness Doris Day with the text version:

I know that you know
That I’ll go where you go
I choose you, won’t lose you
I wish you knew how much I long to hold you in my arms

This time is my time
T’will soon be goodbye time
Then in the star light, hold me tight
With one more little kiss say nighty night

I know that you know
That I’ll go where you go
I choose you, won’t lose you
I wish you knew how much I long to hold you in my arms
This time is my time
T’will soon be goodbye time
Then in the star light, hold me tight
With one more little kiss say nighty night

I know that you know
That I’ll go where you go
I choose you, won’t lose you
I wish you knew how much I long to hold you in my arms
This time is my time
T’will soon be goodbye time
Then in the star light, hold me tight
With one more little kiss say nighty night

I know that you know
That I’ll go where you go
I choose you, don’t plan to lose you
I wish you knew how much I long to hold you in my arms
This time is my time
T’will soon be goodbye time
Then in the star light, hold me tight
With one more little kiss say nighty night

And finally the big band version of Gene Krupa


Jochen Axer, supporter of King Georg and promoter of many other jazz projects via the Cologne Jazz Supporters, presents one of his favorites here every Sunday.