Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gone Mad Today

On this date in 1891, Cole Porter was born. I'm really not a fan of American Musical Theater, but I make an exception for Cole Porter. Maybe it's that so many of his compositions have been interpreted into jazz classics, that I can appreciate them in a "backwards compatible" manner.

Whatever the case, I love the energy and mood to his music. The sexual innuendos that pepper the lyrics are playful and clever. The overall compositional style is distinctive and mature, but it never seems to take itself too seriously. I think that's why I appreciate Porter's work so much more than other "standard" writers. Underlying each piece is an honest sense of play, an amusement with sound and performance.

Whether it's a large ensemble piece or an intimate solo, the music invites the listener to share in the fun.

Let's listen to some music.

My favorite piece is "Night and Day":

Here's some Big Band fun with "Begin the Beguine":

And here's a contemporary jazz approach, Jane Monheit performing "In the Still of the Night":

As always, I can go on and on about music. ;-)

Here's Cole Porter's Wikipedia page.

And here's Jane Monheit's Wikipedia page and official website.


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