Autumn Leaves (1945 song)
"Autumn Leaves" is a popular song and jazz standard composed by Joseph Kosma with original lyrics by Jacques Prévert in French, and later by Johnny Mercer in English. An instrumental version by pianist Roger Williams was a #1 best-seller in the USA Billboard charts of 1955.
|"Les feuilles mortes"|
|Song by Yves Montand and Irène Joachim|
|English title||"Autumn Leaves"|
|Lyricist(s)||Jacques Prévert (French), Johnny Mercer (English)|
Kosma was a native of Hungary who was introduced to Prévert in Paris. They collaborated on the song ''Les Feuilles mortes'' [fr] ("The Dead Leaves") for the 1946 film Les Portes de la nuit (Gates of the Night) where it was sung by Irène Joachim. Kosma was influenced by a piece of ballet music, "Rendez-vous" written for Roland Petit, which was itself borrowed partially from "Poème d'octobre" by Jules Massenet. The first commercial recordings of "Les Feuilles mortes" were released in 1950, by Cora Vaucaire [fr] and by Yves Montand. Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics and gave it the title "Autumn Leaves".
Structure and chord progressionEdit
The song is in AABC form. "Autumn Leaves" offers a popular way for beginning jazz musicians to become acquainted with jazz harmony as the chord progression consists almost solely of ii–V–I and ii–V sequences which are typical of jazz. It was originally, and is most commonly, performed in the key of G minor, but is also played in E minor and other keys. Eva Cassidy's version (clip on the right) is played in B-flat minor.
- Cannonball Adderley with Miles Davis – Somethin' Else (1958)
- Chet Baker with Paul Desmond – She Was Too Good to Me (1974)
- Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps has "Autumn Leaves" as the corps song and it is listed on their 1987 program.
- Eva Cassidy – Live at Blues Alley (1996)
- Eric Clapton – Clapton (2010)
- The Coasters – One by One (1960)
- Anat Cohen
- Nat King Cole - Nat King Cole Sings for Two in Love (1955)
- Bing Crosby - recorded September 7, 1950 for Decca Records.
- Miles Davis – Miles Davis in Europe (1963). He performed the song as part of his live repertoire from 1960 until 1966. Except for the session with Cannonball Adderley in 1958, Davis never recorded the tune in a studio. Several concerts were recorded and released.
- Bill Evans – Portrait in Jazz (1959)
- The Everly Brothers - included in the album Instant Party! (1962)
- Fairuz - بيذكر بالخريف ("Biyzakkir Bil Khareef", in Lebanese Arabic), on her Wala Keef album (2002)
- Sergio Franchi – I'm a Fool to Want You (1968)
- Ryo Fukui - Scenery (1976)
- Serge Gainsbourg – "La chanson de Prévert" (1961)
- Erroll Garner – Concert by the Sea (1955)
- Jim Hall and Ron Carter – Alone Together (1972)
- Dami Im – I Hear a Song (2018)
- Ahmad Jamal – The Ahmad Jamal Trio (1955)
- Keith Jarrett – Still Live (1986)
- Wynton Kelly – Wynton Kelly! (1961)
- Jerry Lee Lewis – The Jerry Lee Lewis Show (2000)
- Manfred Mann – As Is (1966)
- Johnny Mathis - The Sweetheart Tree (1965)
- Art Pepper – The Way It Was (1972), previously unreleased from his Intensity (1960) sessions
- Edith Piaf – sang both French and English versions on December 24, 1950, on the radio program The Big Show
- Louis Prima and Keely Smith
- Frank Sinatra - for his album Where Are You? (1957)
- McCoy Tyner – Today and Tomorrow (1963)
- Ben Webster and the Georges Arvanitas Trio – Autumn Leaves (1972)
- Andy Williams - for the album Lonely Street (1959)
- Kathryn Williams – on the album Resonator (2016) with Anthony Kerr, vibes.
- Roger Williams made the song a number-one hit in the United States in 1955, the first piano instrumental to reach number one.
- Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. pp. 24–26. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
- Massin, Brigitte (1999). Les Joachim: Une famille de musiciens. Paris: Fayard. ISBN 978-2213604183.
- "Les Feuilles mortes; Cora Vaucaire". Bibliothèque nationale de France. 1950.
- "Les Feuilles mortes; Yves Montand". Bibliothèque nationale de France. 1950.
- Spitzer, Peter (2001). Jazz Theory Handbook, p.81. ISBN 0-7866-5328-0.
- Kostka, Stefan; Payne, Dorothy; Almén, Byron (2013). Tonal harmony with an introduction to twentieth-century music (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 46, 238. ISBN 978-0-07-131828-0.
- "Autumn Leaves". AllMusic.com.
- Anonymous. "1987 Programs & Ticket Stubs". The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
As listed in 1987 program
- Poet, J. "One by One". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
- Cf. Miles Davis discography by Peter Losin.
- "Sergio Franchi". Gemm.com. Archived from the original on 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
- François, Corinne (2000). Jacques Prévert, Paroles. Editions Bréal. ISBN 978-2-84291-702-9. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- damiimVEVO (2018-02-15), Dami Im - Autumn Leaves, retrieved 2018-06-16
- "The Jerry Lee Lewis Show". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- Flanagan, Rob. "As Is". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- The Big Show. "BigShow-02". BigShow. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
As carried on Internet radio at
- "Ben Webster: Autumn Leaves - Digipak - Futura Et Marge". Jazz Messengers. Archived from the original on 2015-02-13. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- "Autumn leaves : Ben Webster et le Trio Georges Arvanitas (Music)". WorldCat.org. 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- Anonymous. "Roger Williams". Nebraska Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
In 1965, Williams added a chorus and charted it again at no. 10 Billboard Easy Listening as "Autumn Leaves - 1965."