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Bebop Spoken There

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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Friday on BBC4: Sings the Great American Songbook: 10.30pm

(By Ann Alex) Further to Lance’s note below, I watched this item with great interest.  I don’t imagine that blog readers would enjoy all the versions of the songs, but I have to say that I liked most of them.  I was put off by the first item, Shirley Bassey, who is a bit too dramatic for my taste, but this was followed by some gems from such as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett,  tousle-headed Diana Krall, and also Jamie Cullum doing I Get a Kick Out of You, giving the piano a playful kick on the appropriate word. I hadn't realised what a skilled pianist Diana Krall is.  
Many of the performances came from the Jools Holland Late Shows, including Jimmy Scott, aged 80 plus, singing a haunting All Of Me  in an alto voice, which was apparently the result of a genetic condition.  I love the jazz songs about murders, so I enjoyed Kirsty McColl’s rather folksy interpretation of Miss Otis Regrets.  There were also songs from Alison Moyet and Doctor John, and the programme was rounded off by Florence Welch, of pop group Florence and the Machine, doing a very tasty version of My Baby Just Cares for Me.  There was no narration, just notes on screen, giving information about the songs and singers.  It was no surprise that Cole Porter songs were very much in evidence.
BBC Radio 4 Saturday 8pm:  The Devil’s Horn: The Story of the Saxophone:  Narrated by Soweto Kinch
As I was writing the above, this programme came on the radio.  I wasn't able to listen with full attention, but it sounded as if it would be well worth catching on BBC iplayer.  
Ann Alex   

2 comments :

Liz said...

Yes agreed Ann, like you Miss Bassey was not for me, but oh what a joy to see/hear Johnny Mercer performing one of his own compositions, pretty rare I think!

Anonymous said...

Liz, I'm glad someone else enjoyed this, and I forgot to mention the Johnny Mercer item! Ann Alex

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