There’s a post up at Normblog about Norm’s big sister, and music, and YouTube. Like Norm, I have a big sister – she’s head of English at some school or other, although I have to pity her pupils because I remember her insisting that the capital of Hong Kong was Kowloom, not Kowloon, and when I got an atlas to show that it was actually Kowloon and not Kowloom, she simply closed her eyes and maintained that I was wrong. It doesn’t auger well for those poor kids.
Anyway, Norm links to a number of videos on YouTube, of which I can heartily recommend this by Miles Davis. Never really having paid much attention to YouTube I was inspired, and emboldened, to look for some more stuff there that I might like, and it’s full of it.
Here, for example, is Ella Fitzgerald with the Duke Ellington orchestra, forgetting the words to “Mack The Knife”
Tony Bennett was interviewed in the Times last week, and described the songwriters and musicians – Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Richard Rodgers, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Count Basie, Duke Ellington – that created this stuff as “just like a renaissance”. When Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman worked together on the album Nilsson Sings Newman, this is the template they used. In the sleevenotes, Randy Newman writes that they tried to make music “as if the Rolling Stones hadn’t existed”. You can see Nilsson – singing “Think About Your Troubles”, from the second best album ever made, here.
And on a more topical note, this is Randy Newman, recorded earlier this month, singing “Political Science”.
PS since I’ve bothered to look, and because he’s brilliant, if you haven’t heard him, don’t miss Richard Hawley. And because, as much as I love Duke Ellington, Sinatra, Ella, Basie etc etc etc I still can’t go without my 70s prog, Supertramp’s The Logical Song.