Original Guitar Arrangement – Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (with improvised solo)

I’d like to share my arrangement of “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” with you.

I’ve also improvised a solo using the song as “motivic stimulus” for my solo, which is the term that Trinity College London uses for their improvisation test.

Written by Rodgers & Hart for the hit musical “Pal Joey”Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” was one of the two songs from “Pal Joey” that became standards the other being “I Could Write A Book”.

The musical is based on a character created by the writer John O’Hara who had written a series of short stories for the “New Yorker”.

The stories were then collected into a novel that tells the story of Joey Evans, a young aspiring but struggling night club act who meets an older wealthy widow, Vera, played by Rita Hayworth in the movie.

Vera is smitten by Joey and helps him with her money to open his own nightclub.

The song “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” is performed by Linda, one of the chorus girls played by Kim Novak in the movie, when she realised that she also loved him… so Joey had both women infatuated with him!

The movie was loosely based on the musical even bringing the song “The Lady Is A Tramp” over from another musical but with Franck Sinatra as Joey and along with Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak the movie was a hit.

It’s really good to see and hear those songs in the context that they were written for.

Bewitched is a song that has been covered by so many great singers and Jazz improvisers because it’s such a great song.

Rodgers & Hammerstein

Richard Rodgers teamed up with Larry Hart at the age of 16.

So after 5 or 6 lean years of struggle they persevered with their song writing until they eventually became one of the most successful song writing teams producing a prolific number of successful musicals.

Rodgers & Hammerstein

All was going well until they were asked to write the music, lyrics and songs to turn the popular play “Green Grow The Lilacs” which would become the massive hit “Oklahoma”.

Larry Hart didn’t want to do it so Richard Rodgers was forced to team up with Oscar Hammerstein to get the job done and this in turn would become one of the most successful collaborations in music history.

Apart from the success with “Oklahoma” other smash hits would follow like “The Sound Of Music”, “The King & I”, “South Pacific” & “Carousel”.

There are plenty of versions of “Bewitched” to check out and I found an interesting one by Charlie Parker where he makes a medley of Bewitched and Summertime.

It’s a live recording so the sound quality isn’t great but you can hear how Charlie Parker plays a melody and that’s a valuable lesson.

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker was really one of the monster improvisers of the 1950’s and had an enormous impact and influence on the next generations.

He was such an inquiring mind who worked harder at his music than anybody else.

Charlie Parker

Apart from his assiduous practice regime he studied music by composers like Stravinsky and Debussy injecting their ideas into his improvisations.

Charlie Parker was born and raised in Kansas City Missouri which, like other smaller towns like Philadelphia, was a music hotspot producing big name musicians like Count Basie and his band.

At the age of 16 Charlie Parker took his saxophone to a jam session and when it became obvious that he got lost in his solo the drummer Jo Jones, who played with Count Basie, threw a symbol at Parker that landed at his feet signalling that he should leave the stage.

It was a public humiliation, one that Charlie Parker would never forget but instead of discouraging him it actually gave him an iron willed resolve to play at the highest standard practising for hours everyday and up to 15 hours.

His influence was so wide that Clint Eastwood made a movie called “Bird” (Parker’s nickname) which dramatises his life and features his music and playing.

Eastwood was a big fan and the movie was a labour of love for him and is really worth seeing.

I hope you enjoy my arrangement of “Bewitched” and if you’d like a copy of the tab let me know

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