Continuing on with our exploration of the best playlist ever, let’s have a listen to a song called I Love Being Here With You, recorded by Queen Latifah:
You may recall that the overarching theme of the playlist is anachronism. And this song has that in spades. Here we have a song written by Peggy Lee (and some dude you’ve never heard of) way back in 1960, being sung by a modern diva. She has a big band accompaniment, straight out of the swing era.
When I think of Queen Latifah, I always think of her as a rapper. But of course she it multi-talented and does actual singing and acting and TV hosting and all sorts of stuff. But she was a rapper first, so I think it’s pretty fun to hear her singing this kind of music. And she does a bang-up job. The album this song is on was nominated for a Grammy and spent some time at the top of the Billboard Jazz charts.
Her voice reminds me a lot of Diana Krall. Similar range and inflections. Similar choices of songs (Diana has a recording of this song as well, although she takes it in a completely different direction; turning it into a much faster straight ahead jazz piece showing off her phenomenal piano skills).
Back when I wrote about Mambo Italiano, I cautioned that you shouldn’t prejudge a song by the versions you have heard before. This song proves a similar point: you shouldn’t prejudge a singer by the rapping she has done before. People can surprise you.