“One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” was written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer for the 1943 film musical The Sky’s the Limit, in which it is performed by Fred Astaire. It was covered by many of the leading vocalists of the mid-Twentieth Century but for me, it found its perfect expression in recordings by that greatest of all popular singers – Frank Sinatra.
My version, which comes out as a single on 24 March 2023, is a bit of a vanity project and was an unmissable opportunity to create something with two fine jazz musicians. It features Rustom Battiwalla on piano / keys and Bill Crowther on tenor sax.
I first met Bill at Bath University, where one of us laid the foundations for a glittering academic career, while the other drank and talked too much on subjects he knew very little about.
We played in various bands together and Bill introduced me to the joy of jazz when he asked me to play drums in his bebop band So What? That band, which still convenes from time to time to this day, has probably taught me more about music and working with other musicians than anything else ever has.
Today, Bill Crowther is Professor of Aerospace Engineering at University of Manchester. I still talk too much (sometimes in bars) and generally know too little.
I didn’t meet Rustom Battiwalla until the day he recorded this piano part for me, though he is the brother of a good friend and I’d often heard his playing and his musical arrangements.
Rustom studied piano, jazz piano and double bass at the Guildhall School of Music. He graduated with a First, as well as an Associate Diploma with honours from the Royal College of Music. Although a professional career beckoned, Rustom made the decision to remain an amateur musician, and instead fulfilled his other childhood ambition by working as a train driver. Alongside his job, Rustom continues to give frequent solo, duet and chamber music recitals around the country.
Listen to “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” on YouTube.