|This section suggests definitive or otherwise significant recordings that will help jazz students get acquainted with
“You Don't Know What Love Is.” These recordings have been selected from the Jazz History and
CD Recommendations sections.
Sonny Rollins has long been admired for his ballad playing, and his performance of “You Don’t Know What Love Is” from the Saxophone Colossus album (Saxophone Colossus
) is perhaps his crowning moment in this style, not to mention the definitive instrumental performance of the tune. As for vocal renditions, there are two particularly noteworthy performances that use very different means to arrive at similar moods. Chet Baker’s 1955 version (The Best of Chet Baker Sings
) is sparse in accompaniment and subtle in vocal delivery, while Billie Holiday, in her 1958 performance (Lady in Satin
), cuts through the thick layers of orchestration with the heartbreaking vulnerability of her singing.
Noah Baerman - Jazz Pianist and Educator