The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Rodgers’

The King and I

Posted by keithosaunders on November 27, 2016

I have a confession to make:  If you take me to a Rodgers and Hammerstein play I will cry. I’m currently 3-0, and unless they remake State Fair and somebody takes me to it, this is a record that figures to stand.

You wouldn’t think that a cynical, disillusioned jazz musician would be this soft, but plop me down in a theatre with the orchestra and the lighting, and have a classically trained vocalist strike up If I Loved You and there’s only one possible outcome:  I’ll be bawling like a baby before the end of the first chorus.

The worst was back in 1994 when my wife took me to see Carousel.  There is a song called The Soliloquy, in which the main character, Billy Bigelow,  ponders what it will be like to be a father to a boy or girl.  At that time my wife was 8 months pregnant and it was as if Bigelow was a conduit for my hopes and fears.  You’d better believe it was go-time for the water works.  Fellow audience members were slipping on the wet floor while exiting.

I have yet to see Oklahoma or the Sound of Music but the chances are that the wind wouldn’t be the only thing that was coming behind the rain –  my tear drops would be right behind.  Either way, wear a raincoat.


Image result for the king and I review

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My Favorite Things 1965

Posted by keithosaunders on August 7, 2016

Here’s a jaw-dropping version of My Favorite Things as played by the John Coltrane Quintet circa 1965. Music doesn’t get any better than this.

In particular I was blown away by pianist, McCoy Tyner’s, solo.  I’m going to show this to all my young students who play flat handed.  You can see that true power and finesse comes from above.  (No, I’m not speaking religiously here.  Get your mind out of the church!)  Tyner drops his hands onto the keyboard rather than pushing his fingers into the keys.

Technique aside, McCoy’s solo is like a lesson in harmony and rhythm.  He takes the lone E minor chord and superimposes dorian, phrygian, harmonic minor, and diminished modes over it. (among others!)   These modes are interwoven into his barrage of left hand 5ths and right hand 4ths, and are simultaneously rhythmically and harmonically transcendent.

Compare this version with one performed four years earlier to see and hear the evolution of one of the greatest groups in the history of jazz.

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Singer’s choice

Posted by keithosaunders on July 30, 2016

Imagine that you are a singer living in a world that has known composers such as Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Richard Rodgers. Now imagine that between these (and other) composers that there are hundreds, if not thousands of great songs to choose from. Finally, imagine that from this wealth of repertoire you select Van Morrison’s Moondance.

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