Pat Suzuki’s How High The Moon

In the opening sequence as well as in a dance scene in Neil Simon’s film Biloxi Blues, a song was used called How high the moon. High high the moon is a jazz standard and every female Jazz singer including Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald have done renditions. But none, (and I should point out that I think Ella and Sarah have two of the greatest musical voices ever heard or recorded) NONE can compare with Pat Suzuki’s version. The others mostly sang it with an upbeat tempo. Suzuki-san, showing incredible savvy, slowed it wayyyy down and added  just the right amount of melancholy and longing resulting in a most haunting version of this classic song.

I searched high and low for years for this version of the song after watching Biloxi Blues, but these were the early days of the internet and in these pre-Google days, searching actually required footwork and sometimes even a cash outlay. I eventually just recorded it from the Biloxi Blues video cassette on an audio cassette (by placing the recorder next to the television speaker.) I would listen to my recording of it with Matthew Broderick’s voice talking over it- at the end of the song- about being on a troop train during WWII.

I didn’t care. I loved this song that much.

Though she was born Chiyoko Suzuki, and she and her family were relocated into an American concentration camp along with thousands of people of Japanese descent during WWII, Pat Suzuki is actually American so I don’t know if that disqualifies this post from the January 2010 Japan Blog Matsuri or not.

But her fame is unquestionable and well-deserved.


PS: Just a big shout out to loneleeplanet: Thanks for hosting the Matsuri this month and good luck with it (-: prize money was a master stroke!


13 Responses to “Pat Suzuki’s How High The Moon”

  1. January 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Thanks for the contribution to the Japan Blog Matsuri, Loco. And what a cool submission too. I think that although technically she is an American this submission fits within the spirit of the theme given her Japanese heritage.

    Btw, I have submitted this article to JapanSoc so if you are a reader of this blog, do Loco a favour and show him love by soc’ing it up here:


  2. January 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    My wife’s a budding jazz singer. I’m going to recommend this one to her. Thanks for writing about this singer and song.

  3. January 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I heard this once when I was competing in a IASCA car audio competition. It was used as a sound clarity track. I used Madonna’s “Take a Bow” as is represented the full audio spectrum nicely. I got 6th. I got 3rd in the dB drag using 2pac’s “16 on Death Row” and the winner used Radioheads “Packt Like Sardines in a crushed tin Box” I’m not into Radiohead but that song really puts some extension on your subs.

    I got my first true appreciation for Jazz at sound clarity tests because the Stand up Bass or “Double Bass” that is sometimes used produces the deepest cleanest tones in music.
    A clean 45Hz note is pure happiness for bass addicts.

    Nice post as usual Loco!

  4. January 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    ChrisB, You made me look up that song on YouTube – take a bow – and I liked it. The video was very nice. Nice info on Pat Loco.

    • January 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      Hey Tony!
      Cool! It’s the Madonna one not Rihanna’s. I was never much for Madonna but like i said. For a high-end audio system that song hits all the notes 🙂

  5. 6 Mythirdeye
    January 18, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Rihanna is a song biter no doubt about it. I wish I could get famous by stealing other people’s music, then get socked by Chris Brown hahaha poor taste I know. Pat Suzuki has wonderful tremolo on her voice, and is very enchanting. Thanks for introducing me to some good tunes Loco! Iv’e been delving into the past for music more and more latley, since today’s scene is nothing but godawful

  6. January 24, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Nice read.

  7. 8 Amy
    January 25, 2010 at 9:03 am

    A beautiful song, amazing voice and a pretty lady. I especially love the retro ponytail and Audrey Hepburn-inspired bangs. Thanks for the introduction!

  8. January 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    She has a beautiful voice. So restrained, but with just enough originality to make it her own. Brilliant find.

    • January 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm

      Thanks Ryan, yeah her voice is awesome! thanks for the shout! (-:

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