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Bebop Spoken There

Craig Taborn: "Every sound you make is a choice, and it's a choice made in relation to everything happening around you" - (DownBeat, May 2019).

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Today Thursday April 18

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

DJazz: Durham City Jazz Festival Launch - Courtyard Café, Palace Green Library, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3RN. 7:00pm. £5.00. Featuring Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston.

JR Trio - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student). Line-up: James Romaine (alto sax); Asaph Tal (double bass); Kai Chareunsy (drums). Birmingham Conservatoire student trio. Gig replaces Francis Tulip Quintet (to be rescheduled).

Archipelago + Paul Taylor - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 7:45pm. £8.00. (£6.00. concs). JNE.

Anth Purdy - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Tees Hot Club: Dormans Jazz Festival.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Joseph Carville Trio - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. Tel: 0191 232 5871. 8:00pm. Free. Carville (piano), Allan Peat (double bass), Mark Rayner (drums).

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Song Lyrics - Why do we like them?

(By Ann Alex)
If Lance, Blogmaster, allows, this will be the first in an occasional series of appreciation of song lyrics, a subject which I’m particularly interested in.  
Here goes! It seems to me that the song No Moon At All is especially clever, both lyrically and musically.  I first heard this sung delightfully by Claire Kelly (pictured) a few weeks ago at the Globe, and was intrigued by the idea that it is the opposite of the standard ‘moon in June’ songs.  Then a piece of luck - the song turned up in our repertoire on the Blue Jazz Voices jazz singing course.
It’s written by Redd Evans and Dave Mann:
No Moon at All
What a Night
Even lightnin’ bugs have dimmed their light
Stars have disappeared from sight
And there’s no moon at all

Don’t make a sound
It’s so dark
Even Fido is afraid to bark
What a perfect chance to park
And there’s no moon at all

Should we want atmosphere
For inspiration, dear
One kiss will make it clear
That tonight is right and bright moonlight might interfere

No moon at all
Up above
This is nothing like they told us of
Just to think we fell in love
And there’s no moon at all

As soon as you hear the words no moon at all the song gets your attention because it denies what you expect from a love song and you wonder if it will be a sad tale of lost love.  But the jaunty tune leads you to realise that this is highly flirtatious stuff with a lovely light touch and added humour even Fido is afraid to bark. (When we first tackled this song at Blue Jazz, Lindsay’s dog Chaplin was present as an illustration.  And don’t reverse the words as I did, by swopping round ‘bark’ and ‘park’.  Not what the writers intended!)
You’re not allowed to forget the couple’s intentions with the constant repetition of no moon at all.
I consider that the cleverest line in the whole song is This is nothing like they told us of, which has two meanings, referring to both what people traditionally say about falling in love by moonlight, and also what other song writers have written.  The line is a gentle criticism of all the other lyricists, from Cole Porter to Lorenz Hart to goodness knows who else.
Another favourite line for me is tonight is right and bright moonlight might interfere. These words are sung mostly on one note until we come to interfere, which jumps up to higher notes and so literally interferes with the musical sound.  And of course the internal rhymes within the line add to this effect, then interfere has completely different vowel sounds, so both words and music add to the effect.
I could go on more about the many rhymes and repetitions which are obvious, but I’d become a total bore.  Suffice to say that the last two statements are quite defiant, suggesting that they didn’t need the moon to get them to fall in love, so let’s just leave them to it!
Ann Alex.

10 comments :

Lance said...

Brilliant Ann! Keep them coming. The line, "Tonight is right and bright moonlight might interfere." A quintuple rhyme! Now there's a challenge! Anyone know any other quintuplets?

Anonymous said...

Can't think of a quintuplet at the mo. But noticed this unlikely quad "Cold Cape Cod clams" in a rather famous song. Any ideas ? :) Ken

Liz said...

is this one?
Beans could get no keener reception in a Beanery

Lance said...

Clever, as all of Hart's were, but Beanery and Greenery are just a rhyme not a quintuple one (five!)

Liz said...

oh so ,
Eat and you'll grow fatter girl. 'smatter girl 'ata girl
is a trituple? is there such a word?

Lance said...

There is now!

John Hallam (on F/b) said...

Trying to get people to include the verse is like drawing teeth! Yet the verse is often a little gem and puts the chorus in context. From the age of 78 s "with vocal refrain" the verse might be found as an instrumental, the lyrics being found in the songsheet or original show.

However, many bands take the easy way out and only bother with the chorus - for example the potboilers played to the point of boredom : S'wonderful, Bill Bailey, Doctor Jazz, Stardust , even The Sheik.
I have collected many verses the hard way over 40 years using pen and paper but it is much easier now on the net. So "Please" ( another one) put the verse back where it belongs.

Lance said...

I seem to recall, John,some years ago, a well known singer recording the verse of Stardust and dispensing with the chorus completely. Can't remember who though!

Liz said...

it has a lovely verse, I had it played at Denys's funeral if you remember Lance

Ken Drew said...

I see now that my 4 words were just alliteration !!! Simples compared to triples or quintuplets.
BTW the line "Cold Cape Cod clams" is from 'Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)' (Porter). Ken

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