A Glass of Chianti

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Gone YouTubing

It's no Schlitterbahn but it is a way to distract myself from the misery that is the summer*. Terry has a new list of YouTube links on his sidebar and they show not only his pretty uniformly great taste in all things but also his patience in sifting. Get thee browsing over there**. Now!

Some of the highlights:
  • This Mel Torme selection is interesting for about a half dozen reasons. The introduction is guaranteed to make you think.
  • An Artie Shaw clip from Second Chorus. All I needed to hear was Artie Shaw and Burgess Meredith to know that I had to look this movie up at my first opportunity. Honestly, though, I never pictured Mr. Meredith as a trumpet player - he kind of struck me as a low brass type making it feasible that I could date him. (Smart girls learn early not to trust the trumpet players.)
  • If I had a summer listening list for my students, I'd have this Van Cliburn clip as the first entry. You think you know where this interpretation is going, but then around three minutes in, everything changes and it's even more brilliant than you thought it was going to be. The middle five minutes are must-listens. If you don't, just consider yourself disinvited to reading this blog any longer. ;-)

Two picks of my own:
  1. In the great Artie Shaw/Benny Goodman debate*** I tend not to take sides. My head says Shaw**** but my heart vehemently disagrees. Terry has some Goodman on his list, but since we're wanting an even comparison (movie clip for movie clip) how about looking at this Goodman performance from A Song is Born side-by-side with the previous Shaw entry?
  2. Louis Prima and Sam Butera mynah birding in Italian. Yes, it's a schtick but it's a pretty great one and a fairly good example of why I think that pair is one of the most interesting in jazz history.
*I know it's a "mild one" but we didn't get a fall or a winter this year so shove it. Seriously.
**Because no single click will take you to a more than 10 minute selection (and most will be around the 3-4 minute mark) it's a pretty great mechanism for controlled management of free time.
***Gene Krupa vs. Buddy Rich: Buddy.
****One of my favorite stories from the past couple of years in helping students pick out band instruments: Grandfather comes in with his grandson to test all the different things he could play. The grandson asks me what I play and when I tell him that my main instrument is clarinet, the grandfather sighs and says that he wished he played the clarinet "because of Ava Gardner".