Monday, March 20, 2017

The Most "Seasoned" Disc Jockey? Read On...

Some months back, I was invited to do a series of radio programs out of Tufts University; and, unexpectedly, it seems that the reactions to my approach have  been positive.
And so; even though I thought I would do it for a few times and then disappear into the mist, I am continuing with this  little diversion at the rate of approximately one  every four or five weeks.
My approach is simple - it deals with either musicians who may not be quite as familiar to the radio audience; or, events or performances which should be better known about.
Some examples:
Diane Schuur, a superb pop vocalist, in a couple of wonderful duets with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, during which  she becomes the trumpet and he becomes the voice.
The vocal "force" from England, Lady Cleo Laine, doing incredible 'scat' singing with her musician husband, in their incarnation of the Turkish Rondo of Mozart, which they titled "Turkish Delight."
The legendary pop violinist, Stephane Grappelli, paired with one of the world's great classical violinists, Yehudi Menuhin, in their flowing version of Richard Rogers' "My Funny Valentine."
A 1906 recording of one of the great pianists of that period, Josef Lhevinne, totally overwhelming the Octave Study of Carl Czerny.
George Shearing and his vision of Fusion, in a  1980's  delight of the same "My Funny Valentine" in the styles of  composers ranging from Bach through Rachmaninoff and Delius.
Art Tatum doing the version of "Tea for Two" which positively ensnared no less than Vladimir Horowitz, who insisted upon  meeting with and establishing a friendship with the blind titan of pop piano. Horowitz actually attempted to create a transcription, believe it or not, of "Tea for Two," but did not get very far. A few seconds of his attempt can be found on video. Honestly!
Bernie Krause, one of the founding members of the Weavers over a generation ago, earned a PHD in bioacoustics, and has a recording of an orchestra, with no humans in the group - talk about a unique example of music-making...
And so on.
It's been fun, and I plan on going on with this particular pursuit.

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