Misty was written in 1954 by the jazz pianist Erroll Garner, originally an instrumental (on his album Contrasts). Lyrics were written by Johnny Burke and the song became a hit for Johnny Mathis in 1959.
It's been covered extensively and is a great one for beginners because it's slow and takes substitutions and extensions well.
Before starting work on the song, you really should try and listen to a few versions, particularly vocal versions, I think listening to one with a lyric really helps you understand the phrasing of the melody. Of course, some songs don't have words, but if a song has words, find some vocal recordings.
Check out how they all vary the melody a bit, and remember when you play it you don't have to play it 'exactly as the book says', in fact if you do, you are missing the point!
Johnny Mathis - had the first big hit with the song.
Ella Fitzgerald - what a voice, incredible variations on the melody too!
Frank Sinatra - always gotta check how Frank did it, brilliant as ever.
Sarah Vaughan - this girl is simply incredible, messes with the melody in a fantastic way - so late at the start!!
Erroll Garner - the guy who wrote the song, obviously a must check out, and boy can he play!!
Joe Pass - wow, Joe is incredible, I love everything he plays. This is awesome. Also on LP Virtuoso #2.
Wes Montgomery & Wynton Kelly - Wes is a legend of jazz guitar, hear why with this simple but beautiful version.
Lou Donaldson & Grant Green - Lou makes the sax sing beautifully and Grant is a master guitarist.
- LESSON STEPS -