‘Honeysuckle Rose’ is one of my absolute favourite songs. It shouldn’t surprise you that it was composed by Fats Waller, with lyrics by Andy Razaf. Waller was super talented. Duh.
There are sixty billion different versions of Honeysuckle Rose. Sixty billion.
This is one of Waller’s:
But I want to look at this one, by Basie’s band in 1937:
I love love love love it. There’s something about that bigger band, and Basie’s different piano style that adds to the song.
I was just listening to this version by Jonathon Stout and Glen Crytzer’s bands battling together with this song as the framework:
I’m not an expert, but this sounds like an adaption of the Basie arrangement. And then they add a bunch more layers to the song. The dixie ‘joke’ in the middle is gold, and a really good example of the difference between swing era swing and that earlier moment in jazz, before swing stormed the world. I’ve written about this performance a bunch of times, and you can follow up some links to the musicians’ own ideas about the song via links in my post bands for dancing.