“Here’s That Rainy Day” is a jazz standard with music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke. It was published in 1953 and introduced by Dolores Gray in the Broadway musical Carnival in Flanders.
According to well-known jazz critic and music historian Ted Gioia, the show was a flop, running for only six performances, but the song earned a Tony for Gray, “the only time a performance in a show that short was so honoured. “
Gioia goes on to write that even with the Tony the song didn’t make much of an impact until Frank Sinatra began to perform it later in the ’50s and then record it (1959 on the album No One Cares). In all, Sinatra would record 85 of Van Heusen’s songs, many of which would be familiar to listeners (click on his name above and be amazed).
Among jazz luminaries to have committed it to vinyl are Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Bill Evans, Art Farmer, Oscar Peterson, and Wes Montgomery.
For the musicians in the room, Gioia writes:
The tune is more popular with performers than audiences. The radical harmonic movement in the first few bars is more suited to art song than pop hit, and serves as an inspiring underpinning for melodic improvisation.
Although there are many beautiful vocal version in addition to Sinatra’s, including by Nat Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Torme, and Tony Bennet, I’m going to post the Wes Montgomery instrumental, which I find absolutely beautiful.
According to the commentary on the clip, it’s from a television broadcast recorded in London, England on May 7, 1965. In addition to Montgomery on guitar, Stan Tracey is on piano, Rick Laird on bass, and Jackie Dougan on drums.
Montgomery also recorded it on his album Bumpin’ in 1965.