"If I Were a Bell" illustrates the personal approach to standards that the Davis band had developed, with its alteration of 2/4 and 4/4/ time to intensify the groove, the different feeling that the rythym section generated behind each soloist, and the use of harmonically cyclical "tag" endings at the conclusion of each solo. Adderley lays out, which only helps to underscore the yin/yang contrast between the leader's surgically precise muted trumpet and Coltrane's more impulsive and unfettered tenor. Cobb brings a personal touch to the time playing that Chambers locks right into on this swift performance. Davis, who wanders off mike, delivers a solo with a bracing rhythmic edge and spry, looping phrases on the tag. Coltrane is fearless and startling, while somehow sustaining a lyric equilibrium that keeps his inventions within the arc of the melody. The solo is another sign that he had arrived as a major musical force. Evans, who would also arrive by the time of Kind of Blue, applies a tension-releasing spin as his solo uncoils. The pianist my not have been the ideal partner that hard-grooving Chambers and Cobb found once Wynton Kelly joined the band, but shows here that he could clearly stand the rhythmic heat."
""Miss Otis Regrets" was written by Cole Porter after being inspired by a single line he heard a waiter utter in a fellow customer's ear, as he took lunch. The waiter strolled up to the single woman at the table next to him, and uttered the immortal line "Madam, Miss Otis regrets, she's unable to lunch today". Porter was so taken by the line that the song fell into place around it. (Source: Liner notes, The complete Ella Fitzgerald Sings Cole Porter) Columbia (2000)"
"A basic ingredient of every Fred Astaire picture of the Thirties was a prolonged dance sequence which had perhaps nothing to do with the film's plot but was presumably why the customers had come in the first place. And if screen writers and songwriting teams found it increasingly difficult to be imaginative as the series of Astaire-Rogers films went on and on, ( Shall We Dance was the team's seventh and by no means the last), Astaire himself had to rely on unfailing imagination to make each of these routine's individual and, if possible, more successful than its predecessors. Shall We Dance's book concerned, among other embroilments, a trans-Atlantic voyage; it was a simple matter to drop the dapper Astaire into the ship's boiler room and there allow him to cavort against a background of pulsating machinery. And for this rhythmic scene the Gershwins concocted "Slap That Bass," a number in the tradition of - and making sly reference to - "I Got Rhythm."