I was looking for a complimentary version of After You've Gone (it came to mind with Bobby Murcer's passing) for Woody Herman's great 1963 version (it will follow) and found Fiona Apple's version. Wow! The description below nails it
from jessie klein (abridged)
There’s this old standard, “After You’ve Gone”, that is one of my most favorite songs in the world.........
I’m not totally sure when I first heard it, but once I did, it got in my gut so good I started collecting various versions. Nina Simone has a slow burn badass version. Bessie Smith does a stop you in your tracks big mama version which even on a scratchy old recording from the 20’s has a super satisfying F.. You quality. Ella Fitzgerald sings it smooth and jazzy. And Dinah Washington does an incredible version that crackles sweet and dark like the top of a creme brulee.
But my absolute most favoritest version is by Fiona Apple. Ah, Fiona. Beautiful little weirdo genius. The best way I can explain it is, she completely, truly, deeply gets this tune. I don’t know who she’s thinking about when she sings it, but he screwed her over and she Will Not Ever Forget. She captures every angle of the little narrative- the sweet beginning, which essentially is a “please, please don’t go” then moves on to the part that basically says, “I’m so upset with you - how could you do this?”; but the most hair raising stomach flipping moment is when she gets to the line, “You’ll feel blue, you’ll feel sad, you’ll miss the bestest pal you ever had“ and delivers a musical right hook, a perfect pissed off punch that’s both wounded shout and accusatory hiss. The acoustic version of giving this straying bastard the finger.
Thanks to the wonders of our best friend Youtube, you can see her perform it right HERE. The song alone would be a joy, but watching her face (although it is occasionally obscured by some audience member’s crew cut) as she translates all the emotions is so beautiful and moving it makes me nuts.