Category Archives: Music

Song of the Day #1813

Song of the Day: Super Chicken, words and music by Michael Renzi and Luis Santeiro, was the theme song to this cartoon, which was a segment of “George of the Jungle.” Check out the original theme and yet another jazz rendition [YouTube links] from pianist Randy Waldman, featuring clarinetist Eddie Daniels, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and trombonist Bob McChesney. And check out the Emmy Awards tonight!

Song of the Day #1812

Song of the Day: Mighty Mouse, words and music by Marshall Barer and Phillip Sheib, was the title song to the classic TV cartoon [YouTube link], which made its debut in 1942. This weekend is the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, and I’ll be featuring two great jazz renditions of some classic TV cartoon themes, from pianist Randy Waldman‘s wonderful 2019 jazz tribute to superhero theme songs. Check out his swinging rendition [YouTube link], featuring saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Wayne Bergeron, and both Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums.

Song of the Day #1811

Song of the Day: Leap Frog (pdf), composed by trumpeter Benny Harris and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, was first recorded by Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie for the 1952 album “Bird and Diz.” Check out the original recording by these two bop giants and then take a look at two remarkable comic routines that I once posted on Facebook, spotlighting the trade-off between these legendary musicians here and here [YouTube links].

Song of the Day #1810

Song of the Day: Yes [YouTube link], composed by pianist Kait Dunton, is performed by trioKait on their 2015 eponymous album, with bassist Cooper Appelt and drummer Jake Reed. A sweet groove for a late summer’s day.

Song of the Day #1809

Song of the Day: Chocolate Souffle [YouTube link], composed by jazz-fusion guitarist Oz Noy, appears on the 2019 album, “Booga Looga Loo” on the Abstract Logix label. Featured on this recording is Noy on guitar, Brian Charette on keyboards, John Patitucci on bass, and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. Also check out an alternative Noy live version [YouTube link] with bass guitarist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Dave Weckl, and Noy discussing the tools of his trade [YouTube link].

Song of the Day #1808

Song of the Day: Elephant’s Eye [YouTube link] was composed by post-bop pianist Marc Cary and Brooklyn-based jazz percussionist Sameer Gupta. It appears on the 2006 album, “Focus” (not to be confused with the Stan Getz-Eddie Sauter masterpiece of the same name [YouTube link]). Cary was influenced by both Randy Weston and McCoy Tyner. He heads this trio, which includes bassist David Ewell. They incorporate East Asian, Indian, Native American, and African American influences in their approach, making for a genuinely global sound.

Song of the Day #1807

Song of the Day: The Island (Comecar de Novo), music by Ivan Lins, Portuguese lyrics by Brazilian songwriter Vitor Matins and English lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, begins an extended Labor Day weekend of the Summer Music Festival (Jazz Edition). Notable recordings of this sensuous love song include renditions by Ivan Lins (live), pianist Steve Kuhn, virtuoso harmonica player TootsThielemans (live too!), tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, pianist Richie Beirach and vocalist Laurie Antonioli, and vocalists Patti Austin, Julie Andrews, Sergio Mendes (with vocalist Angie Jaree), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Barbra Streisand [YouTube links], and, from the album, “Embraceable You,” Joanne Barry [mp3 link] (my sister-in-law, whose birthday is today: Happy Birthday Wan, with Love!), with my brother, jazz guitarist Carl Barry [YouTube link], Mike Morreale on fluegelhorn, Tim Lekan on bass, and Mike Hyman on drums.

Song of the Day #1806

Song of the Day: Ben, music by Walter Scharf, lyrics by Don Black, was the title track to the 1972 flick, sequel to the 1971 killer rat film, “Willard.” A young Michael Jackson (born on this date in 1958) sings this song over the film’s closing credits [YouTube link]. The studio recording [YouTube link] would go on to become a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, the first of so many solo MJ hits to come. It would go on to win a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Other renditions include those performed live by Billy Gillman and by Dutch violinist Andre Rieu [YouTube links]. In keeping with our Summer Music Festival (Jazz Edition), check out this big band arrangement by Jim McMillen and Company [YouTube link] (from the album “Swingin’ to Michael Jackson: A Tribute” [YouTube links]). Tomorrow is the VMAs… where MJ collected quite a few awards over the years.

Song of the Day #1805

Song of the Day: The Breeze and I, music by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuono (originally entitled “Andalucia” [YouTube link]), Spanish lyrics by Emilio de Torro, English lyrics by Al Stillman, was a huge hit in 1940 for the Jimmy Dorsey Band, featuring vocalist Bob Eberly [YouTube link]. It was also recorded by vocalist Dinah Shore with Xavier Cugat, Caterina Valente with the Werner Muller Orchestra, Vic Damone, and Bing Crosby (in a medley with “Malaguena”) [YouTube links], as well as by alto saxophonist Art Pepper. My all-time favorite instrumental rendition comes from the irrepressible jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery [YouTube link].

Phucumol: Remedy for the Political Season!

I don’t do TikTok or much of any other social media (except blogging, Facebook, uh, okay, fuhgedaboudit!)… but this one went viral last month, and given that we’re now moving Top Speed into the political season, this has become my general attitude. If folks don’t care for language of this sort, well, You Need to Calm Down and Take Phucumol.