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The Perfect Songwritter and His Ideal Interpreter

March 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi there, how have you been?

After recalling the interesting soundtrack for Allen’s Midnight in Paris and giving it another listen I couldn’t help being knocked back by Mr. Cole Porter once again. It’s still shocking for me to realize how absurdly rich in content his lyrics were even when restrained–no, I should say potentized–by nothing less than impeccable metrics and intonation. What saddens me is to see people these days emulating that sonority by simply being mellow without getting even close to the real thing when it comes to words, packing nostalgia in a goofy wrapper as if it was always like that. But that’s not my point, actually. :P

My point is… Man, songs can get heavenly (or hellish, if we take malice into account lol) when you got such a voice to bear ’em. If you really want to dig Cole Porter go straight to Ella Fitzgerald‘s songbook:

Ella

The otherwordly instrument she had at disposal was the perfect way for every hidden secret inside those songs to unfold. The tremolo, the breathing, the glissandos, the sudden drops… Everything matches the needs of each song–without losing a single hair of fun in the way.

Take my favourite one from that batch, “Let’s Do It“, which can be proud of showing lyrics like this:

Romantic sponges, they say, do it
Oysters down in oyster bay do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

Cold Cape Cod clams, 'gainst their wish, do it
Even lazy jellyfish, do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

See ya, take care!

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Midnight in Paris Soundtrack: An Approach

February 6, 2012 1 comment

Hi there guys, how are you all doing?

Last weekend I had the pleasure to watch Midnight in Paris with my girl at home in a warm night–I’m lying, is Hell hot right now here in Brazil lol–and of course I couldn’t help myself but keeping an eye (ear) at the movie’s soundtrack.

It’s cool. Just plain cool. But that’s an overly-easy way to describe it–even though it’s the real truth. :P So if I’m not boring you to death please allow me to talk a little about the approach for getting such a work done. :)

The interesting point here is that the easy way to get the job done would be to pick up a bunch of classics and rely on the strenght of those emotionally rooted  recordings to take advantage of that. But here those guys went a step further and tried (except for a couple tracks) NOT to sound nostalgic–and actually that was pretty much a requirement to make old-time Paris feel alive like Woody Allen intended to.

What a stroll...

So in a general way we got a couple new accordion recordings by Dana Boulé and François Parisi–pretty much straight-forward stuff, but still absolutely needed for a French setting; a bunch of Cole Porter with his impeccable metrics and irritating cleverness lol (“Romantic sponges, they say, do it / Oysters down in Oyster Bay do it / Let’s do it, let’s fall in love”) with the smoothness of Conal Fowkes recordings–the way-to-go when trying to step away from Ella; and more intriguing/humorous tracks elegantly pointing to gypsy jazz like the Swing 41 recording for Django Reinhardt and the recurrent “magic key” (watch the movie lol) “Bistro Fada”, by Stephane Wrembel.

Even when REAL old tracks were selected it’s easy to see it was carefully done. Enoch Light & The Charleston City All Stars’ tunes are particularly well-recorded; Josephine Baker and her conga is simply irreplaceable; and Sidney Bechet’s “Si tu vois ma mère” serves the humble purpose of crytalizing Paris into a watcher’s mind with a non-cut opening footage.

Beautiful, beautiful stuff man. Let me share something here as an appetizer… But go watch the movie. And pay attention to the soundtrack, please. ;)

‘Till next Monday… See ya!

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