Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Songbook: Someone to Watch Over Me

How have I come this far in the Songbook series without a Gerschwin tune. Someone to Watch Over Me shall right that wrong. Here's a snippet from the Wikipedia page for Ira Gerschwin:
The work of Ira and George Gershwin runs deep in the American consciousness. The opening clarinet glissando from George's Rhapsody in Blue, the taxi horn theme from his An American in Paris and the brothers' songs – "I Got Rhythm", "Embraceable You", "The Man I Love", "Someone to Watch Over Me", "Fascinating Rhythm", and many others – are instantly recognizable.

Ira Gershwin was a joyous listener to the sounds of the modern world. "He had a sharp eye and ear for the minutae of living." He noted in a diary: "Heard in a day: An elevator's purr, telephone's ring, telephone's buzz, a baby's moans, a shout of delight, a screech from a 'flat wheel', hoarse honks, a hoarse voice, a tinkle, a match scratch on sandpaper, a deep resounding boom of dynamiting in the impending subway, iron hooks on the gutter."
I first heard these tunes as a boy, but grew to appreciate them later in life, often in the renditions by Willie Nelson, believe it or not. But in this case I choose Blossom Dearie. She was one of the great interpreters of these standards, always eschewing the over-production of other singers of her era. Here's she comes through with a typically artful rendering. I think it's beautiful!

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