27 June 2016


One of the loveliest videos I have seen recently was filmed by James Sterling of Florida when he spent a long weekend in New Orleans during June 2016.

Like me, James is a fan of Chloe Feoranzo and Albanie Falletta, so, when he heard that they had recently got together and would be playing with Kaladeva Chandra and John Joyce in a quartet at the dba music club in Frenchmen Street, he eagerly went to see them.

James requested one of his favourites - What a Little Moonlight Can Do. They told him they had never played it together before. However, after a little chat among themselves about how to tackle it and in which key, off they went.

The result is so good that I really must recommend it to you. All four musicians are brilliant and Albanie's singing is utterly charming. Watch the video BY CLICKING HERE.

By the way, What a Little Moonlight Can Do was composed (both words and music) in 1934 by Harry Woods. He wrote it for the movie Road House, which was filmed in England while Harry was working for a brief spell in London. It was sung in the movie by Violet Lorraine.

What a phenomenal contribution Harry made to our music: The Clouds Will Soon Roll By, I Wish't I Was in Peoria, I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover, Paddlin' Madeline Home, River - Stay Away From My Door, Side By Side, That's All There Is - There Ain't No More; Try a Little Tenderness, We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye, When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful, When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain, When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along, - all of these are examples of the songs he composed.

Harry Woods lived from 1896 until 1970. Two sad points about him are these: he was born without fingers on his left hand; and he died when knocked down by a car right outside his house in Glendale, Arizona.

What a Little Moonlight Can Do is a little unusual. Most popular songs of this kind were at the time constructed in 32 bars, usually consisting of four sets of 8 bars. Harry Woods has 'doubled up' in the structure of this song. There are four sets of 16 bars, making 64 bars in total. The first 32 bars have much in common with the second 32. In fact, Bars 1 - 11 are Bars 33 - 43 are identical in melody and chord structure.

As an aide-mémoire for playing the tune on my cornet, I have this sheet in my filofax. I make no claim that's it's 100% accurate. I put the tune in the key of C, as that is comfortable for me. But in the video, Albanie and Co. play it in G, as you may have noticed.