If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Friday, December 21, 2007

What a Wonderful World


A beautiful song from the voice of Louis Armstrong, the great Satchmo. 
OST: Good Morning Vietnam.

This was written by Bob Thiele and George Weiss. Thiele was a producer for ABC records, and Weiss was a songwriter who helped create the hit version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." The song is about appreciating the beauty of our surroundings.

Armstrong recorded this for scale, accepting only $250 to make sure the orchestra got paid.

This is the song most associated with Louis Armstrong, but it does not represent the body of his work, which consists mostly of Jazz.

In 1988, this was re-released in the US after it was used in the Robin Williams movie Good Morning, Vietnam. It charted at #32.

The boss of ABC Records hated this and did not promote it until it became a hit in England.

The 66-year-old Armstrong became the oldest act to top the UK charts when this reached #1. Four years previously Satchmo had become the oldest artist to record a US #1 when "Hello, Dolly!" hit the top spot. Armstrong's record was broken in 2009 when the 68-years-and 9 months-old Tom Jones was one of the artists on the Comic Relief cover of "Islands in the Stream."

This song's slow tempo seems to emphasize the idea that in order to recognize all the good that is around us, we have to slow down & notice it. As Satchmo sings each verse, the listener has time to visualize each line, and can stop and think, oh, yeah, it IS a wonderful world. 

The voice and perspective of this 66-year-old black man gives the song the depth to touch our souls. If someone like Armstrong can bring such believability to these words after growing up in the world he did (in the most turbulent years of the 60's...1968. Race Riots, two prominent men who stood for civil rights assassinated, Vietnam protests raging, the civil rights movement marching on, and here is a black man from the Deep South singing such a poignant, simple, beautiful song. It's like the daisy being inserted into the gun barrel), then there truly must be value in acknowledging the beauty around us.

As you see all the bad news out there on TV, as you hear of all the war and strife and crime and unrest on the news....how cleansing and refreshing it is to hear this song, to put your mind back into proper perspective....It takes your mind back to a safe, warm place, a place where everyone gets along, where there is peace.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Renee Olstead - Someone To Watch Over Me


From the CD Album "Renee Olstead" Music & Lyrics By George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin, Musical Arrangement By David Foster.

"Someone to Watch Over Me" is a song composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin from the musical Oh, Kay! (1926), where it was introduced by Gertrude Lawrence. Gershwin originally approached the song as an uptempo jazz tune, but his brother Ira suggested that it might work much better as a ballad, and George ultimately agreed. It has been performed by numerous artists since its debut and is a jazz standard as well as a key work in the Great American Songbook. - Wikipedia

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Mireille Mathieu Ne me quitte pas Russia Logo


Song of separation, in a Russian theater. Not a dry eye in the house there.
Originally Performed in French by Jacques Brel.
Performed in English If You Go Away by Dusty Springfield,
Frank Sinatra and many others.

Though often cited as the most beautiful love song in the French language,
Brel tells us it's not a love song at all, rather a portrait of a man who
degrades himself and loses his dignity for a woman who doesn't love him.

Ne me quitte pas - Nina Simone


Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known by her stage name Nina Simone (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), was a Grammy Award-nominated American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist.

Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is generally classified as a jazz musician. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles besides her classical basis, such as jazz, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music.

Her vocal style is characterized by intense passion, a loose vibrato, and a slightly androgynous timbre, in part due to her unusually low vocal range which veered between the alto and tenor ranges (occasionally even reaching baritone lows).

Also known as The High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness and tragic melancholy. 

These fluctuations also characterized her own personality and personal life, worsened by bipolar disorder with which she was diagnosed in the mid-1960s, but was kept secret until 2004 after her death.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sviatoslav Richter -The Enigma - Bruno Monsaingeon (1998) Part II


This is the document movie of the great pianist, SVIATOSLAV RICHTER;
A film by Bruno Monsaingeon

One of the greatest pianists of the century, a performer whose interpretive acuity and huge repertoire awed other musicians, Sviatoslav Richter, the subject of this engrossing video documentary, was also a fiercely private man indifferent to commercial success. Averse to concertizing in big cities, he instead drove the expanses of Russia, showering his genius on towns and villages. Bruno Monsaingeon, who has made several films about musicians, got the wary pianist to open up. Blending Richter's observations with marvelous archival footage spanning much of his life, Monsaingeon's documentary so generously displays the pianist's gifts and so vividly limns his odd, isolated life that it is both exhilarating and haunting.

--By Elliot Ravetz TIME

Sviatoslav Richter -The Enigma - Bruno Monsaingeon (1998) Part I


This is a document movie of the great pianist, SVIATOSLAV RICHTER;
A film by Bruno Monsaingeon

Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997), one of the greatest pianists of all time, breaks his life-long silence and allows himself to be interviewed for this autobiographical film. We see his life on an epic scale as he evokes his wild childhood, his encounters with the great names in the musical world, his debuts and his activities as a concert artist in the Soviet Union, a country tortured by troubles, war and terror. By turn acerbic, captivating, lucid, always unexpected, he reveals himself here with disarming candour, full of humour. Previously unseen archive footage and a wealth of performance extracts complete this portrait of an artist who refused to conform, one of the giants of the 20th century.