Friday, January 22, 2010

Gretchen Parlato and, um, something else

Greetings to my new students who may have found your way over here. I encourage you to have a look around. For a selection of older posts that I'm not too embarrassed about, scroll down and look in the right gutter for the section called "Assemblages."

Someone in one of my classes asked me what kind of music I like. I think I said something like "Everything." But I'll go ahead and stick my neck out this early in the semester and post an example of something I think is especially good that I've just come across. Give a listen to this new-to-me jazz singer, Gretchen Parlato, and her live cover of the SWV song, "Weak." Apologies for the tinny sound, but the piano playing, the rhythm section's groove, and the way that Parlato's voice, perfectly intelligible, becomes more like another instrument in the band, are head-noddingly good:

Oh--and speaking of head nodding . . . I shared with my classes that this had gotten stuck in my head last weekend and, as of Thursday morning, was still in there:

You press the "Play" icon at your peril. The Biggie Smalls bits are not safe for work; the Miley Cyrus bits are not safe, period.


R. Sherman said...

I refuse to listen to Miley Cyrus. My daughter would play one particular song while running on our treadmill. (She said it had a good cadence.) I could hear it nonetheless and found myself convulsing at the end.

Every. Damn. Time.

John B. said...

Yeah. You are wise to avoid clicking the "Play" icon, sir. When I mentioned in class that this one's chorus was stuck in my head with the same tenacity that treble fishing hooks possess, a student asked me, "Well, do you like it or not?" I said that the aspiration of all pop songs is to possess a good hook that makes it memorable and that, on those terms, "Party in the U.S.A." is a very good pop song indeed. But that is in no way intended to be an endorsement.