Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

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Bill Minnick
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:52 am

Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby Bill Minnick » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:22 am

Brian speaks of George G. and Burt B. in the same sentence...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-u5UqsH ... re=related

Rio
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:07 am

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby Rio » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm

That's interesting. I remember saying Burt sd've been invited for this. (Which is not to say that he wasn't or that he sd've accepted it if he had been.)

More recently, I wrote:

"The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that no one but Gershwin is in his league. Leading a second tier I guess I'd place Richard Rodgers."

Remember that Ira was also a huge Bacharach fan.

Richard Rodgers himself seems to have been very impressed.

Then there's Jimmy Webb and Elton John. I'm pretty sure Stevie Wonder is a fan as well.

I don't know about Jobim, but Vinícuis de Moraes, one of his main lyricists, in trying to say how great A.C. was, compared him to masters such as Burt (first one mentioned), Webb, Legrand and Piazzola. Not too long ago I mentioned Marcos Valle saying Burt was the composer/arranger who influnced him the most.

Alice Cooper recently (reitetated, I think) that young artisits should listen to Burt and McCartney. Chris Botti said playing with Burt was the highlight os his career. Noel Gallagher and Herb Alpert have been featured on This Is Now, and so has Richard Carpenter. Costello is obviously a fan, as well.

The list is endless.

But if anyone knows what, say, Legrand or Stevie Wonder, or other artists you respect (if only because they are well-known and show great appreciation for Burt) had to say about Burt, I would love to read about it.

blueonblue
Posts: 1381
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:22 am

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby blueonblue » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:32 am

Hi Rio,
I fully agree with you about Bacharach's impression on other composers...
Here's a magnificent Jimmy Webb song.........almost a "homage" to Burt !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TySHBy4LGtM

"blue"

vincent.cole
Posts: 788
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Staten Island N.Y.

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby vincent.cole » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:36 am

Bonjour Blue;

Very nice song indeed!

Thanks for posting it!

Take care mon ami.

Vincent

blueonblue
Posts: 1381
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:22 am

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby blueonblue » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:24 am

Bonjour Vincent,
Glad you liked it ! :D

Take care mon ami,
"blue"

Rio
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:07 am

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby Rio » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:29 pm

Blue,
Thanks for that!
Burt likes that album (A Tramp Shining) quite a bit, as you must know.

This has been posted before, but is an obvious tribute:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZbBziT9Hbg

blueonblue
Posts: 1381
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:22 am

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby blueonblue » Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:38 am

Rio,
Thanks,that was great !
Burt's "influence" is everywhere ! :D

"blue"

Blair N. Cummings
Posts: 992
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:14 pm

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby Blair N. Cummings » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:45 pm

Isthis album seiously being green-lighted?
Is it too late to drive a stake through its mis-begotten heart?

steveo_1965
Posts: 1002
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:17 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby steveo_1965 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:13 pm

Blair,
If youre reffering to the Brian Wilson/Gershwin album...Ive never heard it...
You think its not a good thing?

Steveo

Blair N. Cummings
Posts: 992
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:14 pm

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby Blair N. Cummings » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:57 am

I think it`s a ridiculous idea. I recall some discussion here a year or so back when the project was first announced.
My position was/is that no one should be "completing" work left unfinished by another composer. If Brian Wilson wants to amuse his friends I suppose no one can stop him, but I think it`s somewhere between sacrilige and a bad joke to offer these little party games as legitimate "collaborations" or whatever he may call them.

nymusicalsguy
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 10:39 am

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby nymusicalsguy » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:11 pm

I have to humbly disagree with our good friend Blair. The Brian Wilson album is not misbegotten, nor being passed off as something it isn't. As far as the "collaborations" go, Wilson was provided with over 100 song fragments by the Gershwin estate. He took two of those melodic fragments and created new songs around them. Nothing more, nothing less. The majority of the album features Gershwin songs rearranged by Wilson, in the spirit that any artist tackling this great songbook would apply.

As for the album itself, the palpable sense of joy in Brian's vocals and production just left me with one big smile on my face throughout. There has indeed been some carping from Gershwin purists about this project, but I truly feel Brian's respect for the songs speaks for itself. There's a lot of fun to be had in spotting the little Wilson homages that remind one of "Help Me, Rhonda" or "Little Saint Nick" in certain songs, but moreover, I can't help but be affected by the purity and directness in the PORGY AND BESS songs to which Wilson would seem less suited but truly triumphs.

By the way, the song that was the basis of the "Wilson/Gershwin" "The Like In I Love You" has been recorded by Michael Feinstein on his 1996 Atlantic CD NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: SONGS BY THE GERSHWINS. It's called "Will You Remember Me," and it's an amazingly (unsurprisingly) different listen, but totally fascinating once you're familiar with Brian's new song. Michael notes that the song was cut from the musical LADY, BE GOOD! - along with "The Man I Love," believe it or not! Brian and Scott Bennett basically took the kernel of Gershwin's melody (you'll recognize it instantly in Feinstein's recording) and ran with it. The end product is more Wilson/Bennett than Gershwin, but it's a fun comparison all the same.

In short, I can't recommend this album enough -- how exciting to see Wilson (with the help of his immensely talented band, of course) embrace his own legacy while celebrating that of another colossal talent.

If you're not interested -- by all means, don't buy it. But BRIAN WILSON REIMAGINES GERSHWIN can only have the effect of turning more folks on to Gershwin's music, which is entirely a wonderful thing. The use of the Gershwin melodic fragments in the two new songs is really no different than the now-established practice of sampling/mashing up; just look at Burt's directory of published songs to see just how many "new" songs he has "co-written." The number might surprise most people, but in short, it's a tribute to the man's melodic genius. The Wilson album is that artist's tribute to another songwriting genius.

Respectfully submitted,

Joe

Blair N. Cummings
Posts: 992
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:14 pm

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby Blair N. Cummings » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:05 pm

Perhaps my strongest response to this whole project is perplexity...as in "What the f%#$@!"
I`d be interested to know just how lengthy these "fragments" of unfinished songs were. If it was the desire of the Gershwin estate to make these public, they could easily have published them (or simply handed them over to Michael Feinstein whose opinion on this I would also like to know). Alternatively, they could have been slipped to someone like Sonny Rollins to play with. He`d have known better than to write faux-Gershwin songs but would surely have made art of them.
It`s the incongruity of the pairing that also rankles. What`s next? Lou Reed Re-Imagines Richard Rogers?
I end where I began: I just don`t get it.

nymusicalsguy
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 10:39 am

Re: Brian Wilson's Gershwin album

Postby nymusicalsguy » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:55 pm

Well, Lou Reed did take a number of liberties with his covers of Weill's "September Song" and Arlen's "One For My Baby"... :wink:

If you're interested, check out the Feinstein CD and hear the song as Gershwin intended it, then listen to Wilson's "take" on the theme. (It's literally just a few bars of melody.) Wilson was inspired by the two piano themes he was presented with; it's not inaccurate to say that these two new songs are Brian Wilson/Scott Bennett compositions based on Gershwin themes, but of course the estate (for marketing reasons) is going to present them as "Wilson/Gershwin" copyrights.

The rest of the album is arguably more interesting than those two new songs, anyway. I found the cover versions to be among the most refreshingly original versions of Gershwin/Gershwin songs I've heard in many a year. (And I treasure my IN GERSHWIN'S TIME CD set of the songs' original versions, and am quite a fan of the songs the way George and Ira intended them to be heard.) The songs have been completely rearranged, totally unlike the recordings of, say, Rod Stewart or even Michael Buble when they tackle standards. Wilson has long been name-checking Gershwin's influence on him, particularly that of "Rhapsody in Blue"; for that reason, I didn't find the pairing odd at all, and he really pulls it off with great love and infectious enthusiasm.

Give the album a chance -- if you're a Burt fan, you clearly have great taste in music, so you might just be pleasantly surprised. :D And if not, we'll just agree to disagree...I think the album is a valid contribution to the Wilson canon, and a valid, inventive tribute to the Gershwin ouevre.

Joe


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