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I've Found a New Baby (1926)

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Origin and Chart Information
“The session’s results are electrifying ... and Christian’s solo blisters with his genius.”

- Chris Tyle

AKAI Found a New Baby
Rank 78
Words and Music Jack Palmer
Spencer Williams

On January 22, 1926, Clarence Williams’ Blue Five introduced “I’ve Found a New Baby.” Eight years later, in 1934, a Mills Brothers recording of the song rose to number nineteen on the pop charts. The song was on the charts again in 1939 as the Harry James Orchestra rendition rose to number fourteen.


More on Clarence Williams at JazzBiographies.com

Chart information used by permission from
Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954

Williams and Spencer Williams (no relation) wrote numerous songs together, their best known of which is 1919’s “Royal Garden Blues.”


More on Spencer Williams at JazzBiographies.com

More on Jack Palmer at JazzBiographies.com

“I’ve Found a New Baby” is included in the repertoire of almost every traditional jazz band. It is attractive as an improvisational vehicle, allowing not only the individual musician creative vistas but the group ample opportunity to share solos. The lyrics speak of a happy fellow who has fallen hard for a pretty girl. The jargon is definitely the patter of the 1920’s, “Tells me lies, but she’s wise, naughty eyes, mesmerize I vow, and how, I don’t mean maybe!”

More information on this tune...

Henry Martin
Enjoying Jazz
Schirmer Books
Paperback: 302 pages

(Martin devotes three pages to “I’ve Found a New Baby,” including an analysis of the musical content, a list of performers, and a jazz solo transcription.)
See the Reading and Research panel below for more references.

- Jeremy Wilson

Music and Lyrics Analysis

Musical analysis of “I’ve Found a New Baby”

Original Key D minor, moving to relative major of F; temporary false key change to “C” major in second half of “B”
Form A – A – B – A
Tonality Primarily minor, ending in major
Movement “A” is a downward arpeggiated figure, embellished with chromatic lower neighbors and a passing tone. “B” consists of two downward-moving scale patterns that contain lower neighbor embellishing tones.

Comments     (assumed background)

A fairly repetitive song with a simple chord progression that originally served as the vehicle for novelty lyrics. The “A” harmonic progression is i – V7 – i (with a passing bVI7 chord that serves as a secondary dominant in the role of N6/V). “B” starts on V7 going to i, then repeats this a step lower diatonically, making the sequence V7 – I in the new temporary key before a V7/i modulation back to the original key–all very unequivocal with few surprises.
K. J. McElrath - Musicologist for JazzStandards.com

Check out K. J. McElrath’s book of Jazz Standards Guide Tone Lines at his web site (www.bardicle.com).
Musicians' Comments

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Soundtrack information
“I've Found a New Baby” was included in these films:
  • Sweet and Low Down (1944, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra)
  • New York Stories (1989, Wilbur de Paris and His New Orleans Jazzband)
  • Mighty Aphrodite (1995, Wilbur de Paris and His New Orleans Jazzband)
Reading and Research
Additional information for "I've Found a New Baby" may be found in:

Max Morath
The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Popular Standards
Perigee Books
Paperback: 235 pages

(1 paragraph including the following types of information: history and performers.)

Thomas S. Hischak
The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia
Greenwood Press
Hardcover: 552 pages

(1 paragraph including the following types of information: history and performers.)

Henry Martin
Enjoying Jazz
Schirmer Books
Paperback: 302 pages

(3 pages including the following types of information: music analysis, performers and jazz solo transcription.)
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Music & Lyrics Analysis
Musician's Comments
Reading & Research

Jazz History Notes
Getting Started
CD Recommendations
Listen and Compare
By the Same Writers...

Jazz History Notes

Brilliant electric guitarist Charlie Christian was hired by Benny Goodman in 1939 to be part of his smaller “band-within-a-band” which had, by 1940, expanded from a trio to a sextet. Goodman’s 1940 recording of “I’ve Found a New Baby” includes ex-Duke Ellington trumpeter Cootie Williams (who had recently joined Goodman) and guests, pianist Count Basie and his drummer, Jo Jones.

The session’s results are electrifying. The rhythm section of Jones, Basie and bassist Artie Bernstein light a fire under the other band members, and Christian’s solo blisters with his genius. Although his career was brief (he died in 1942 from tuberculosis), Christian’s influence on jazz guitarists continues to this day.

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian

Charlie Christian
The Genius of the Electric Guitar
Sony 40846

Getting Started
This section suggests definitive or otherwise significant recordings that will help jazz students get acquainted with “I've Found a New Baby.” These recordings have been selected from the Jazz History and CD Recommendations sections.

Benny Goodman’s version of “I’ve Found a New Baby” (The Genius of the Electric Guitar) is the definitive recording of the tune. The whole band sounds great, but the star is guitarist Charlie Christian, who takes one of his most influential and brilliant solos on this tune. Like Christian, Lester Young and Nat “King” Cole both had strong pedigrees in swing but forward-thinking approaches and technical prowess that helped to foreshadow the bebop movement. Their rollicking version of “I’ve Found a New Baby” (Take Me to the Land of Jazz), accompanied by drummer Buddy Rich, is another performance well worth hearing.

Noah Baerman - Jazz Pianist and Educator

CD Recommendations for This Tune
Click on any CD for more details at Amazon.com
Sidney Bechet
Best of
Blue Note Records
Original Recording 1949
Bechet's soprano saxophone goes toe to toe with the cornet of Wild Bill Davison, and both players shine. Bechet's Blue Note recordings were vital to keeping the flame of traditional jazz lit, and this performance is a timeless example of that.
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders
1991 Original Jazz Classics 340
Original recording 1958
After making this recording, Rollins would spend several years in retirement, seeking to develop his sound. This was a very surprising development at the time, and is still striking today when hearing how advanced his music already was. He plays a swinging and very witty version of "I've Found A New Baby"' here, accompanied by an all-star West coast rhythm section.
Joe Pass and Herb Ellis
Two for the Road
1996 Original Jazz Classics 726
Original recording 1974
Guitarists Pass and Ellis rank among the most influential modern practitioners of straight-ahead guitar. They met on record only three times, and this spunky, interactive performance comes from the only duo session they did together.

- Noah Baerman

Pee Wee Russell
Take Me to the Land of Jazz
2001 ASV Living Era 5391
Original recording 1938
This remarkable performance features clarinetist Russell in a trio with two other early jazz legends, pianist James P. Johnson and drummer Zutty Singleton. Each of them plays masterfully, and the synergy among the three is remarkable.
Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grapelli
La Quintet Du Hot Club De France

Not only is this an entertaining recording of some superb gypsy swing but an important one as well, as the listener is treated to the intuitive interplay of two masters in their heyday.
Lester Young
The Lester Young Trio
Polygram Records 21650
Original recording 1946
This album actually has two versions of "I've Found a New Baby." Saxophonist Young is featured in a trio with pianist Nat "King" Cole and drummer Buddy Rich in a stunning, rollicking performance. Young, meanwhile, doesn't even appear on the other performance, a quintet track featuring Cole again, this time with a frontline of trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison and a young Dexter Gordon tenor saxophone.
Mills Brothers
The 1930's Recordings
2000 JSP 902
Original recording 1934
The Mills Brothers' signature vocalization of "instrument"' sounds is put to excellent use on this infectious recording.
Roy Eldridge/Dizzy Gillespie
Roy and Diz
1994 Verve 314521647
Original recording 1954
Trumpet legend Eldridge and his disciple Gillespie engage in some friendly competition on this swinging number, ably prodded by Oscar Peterson and his quartet.
Dave McKenna
Giant Strides
1994 Concord 4099
Original recording 1979
Pianist McKenna does not need a band to make the music groove mightily, and on this solo piano performance he does just that.
Squirrel Nut Zippers
The Inevitable
1995 Mammoth Records 980105

A rousing rendition from the new breed of swing band. The Squirrel Nut Zippers prove that the energy of the song really is timeless.
Matt Wilson
1999, Palmetto

Eclectic drummer Matt Wilson charms the listener with a challenging version of the song.

- Ben Maycock

Written by the Same Composer(s)...
This section shows the jazz standards written by the same writing team.

Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams

Year Rank Title
1926 78 I've Found a New Baby
1924 507 Everybody Loves My Baby

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