Cilla's hit, the jazz standard

Burt Bacharach and Cilla Black in the studio

The late Cilla Black had a hit with the Bacharach & David ballad 'Alfie', a song loved by jazz greats.

When Cilla Black recorded her hit ‘Alfie’ her star status was such that she was able to have co-composer Burt Bacharach personally come over to London from America to arrange and conduct it in the studio for her. This was despite Bacharach and David having their most prolific hit maker Dionne Warwick in mind to record it.

Both had a hit with the song which was released to promote the 1966 film of the same name, starring Michael Caine.

At this time of grief for Cilla’s sudden passing it’s worth noting how impactful the song has been on jazz, becoming something of a standard down the years. Versions have been recorded by many great jazz and soul musicians including Roland Kirk, Carmen McRae, The Delfonics, Whitney Houston, Tony Bennett, Brad Mehldau, Martin Taylor, Gerald Wilson, Pat Metheny, Liane Carroll, Randy Crawford, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughan, Cleo Laine, Nancy Wilson, Blossom Dearie and Bill Evans. Even Stevie Wonder recorded an instrumental version on his harmonica.

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