Allen Toussaint: Get Out Of My Life, Woman
From 7″ (Bell, 196?). Also on New Orleans Funk
Joe Williams: Get Out Of My Life, Woman
From Presenting Joe Williams & Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra (Solid State, 1966)
Grassella Oliphant: Get Out Of My Life, Woman
From Grass Is Greener (Atlantic, 1967)
Hands down, Allen Toussaint’s “Get Out Of My Life, Woman” is one of the the most covered soul/funk songs ever: from the Grateful Dead to the Fireballs to Jimmy Smith to Marva Whitney to…you get the idea. You can pick up a cover of it from a mile away thanks to that intro drum break: dum dum bap, dah dum dum bap. I was tempted to offer more covers in this posting but I realize that I’d be going on forever (forever ever? Forever ever.) Instead, I hit you with Toussaint’s own version and two of my favorite covers.
Toussaint’s own 7″ version isn’t even the song’s best known – Lee Dorsey’s probably is – but I figured we might as well hear the composer/songwriter put his own song to use. From this standard, you can hear how subsequent musicians have reinterpreted “Get Out Of My Life”. Joe Williams, with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis orchestra, begins with this fantastic brass chorus that blares loud and proud but just as good is Roland Hanna’s piano work which gives this song its personality.
Likewise, organist Big John Patton and Harold Ousley lay it down for drummer Grassella Oliphant’s version of “Get Out Of My Life” – not as jazzed up as Williams’, but so damn smooth and funky. Heartbreak never sounded so good…except for maybe on the dozens of other covers of this song. Seek and be fruitful.