Monday, August 31, 2015
Nine 78-rpm tracks, all ripped and restored by me from my collection. A subset of the Paul Whiteman orchestra, the Virginians performed arrangements by Ferde Grofe and Ross Gorman, and they tended to sound more Dixieland than the larger orchestra. Less big-bandy, anyway. I've always wanted to type "big-bandy." Her Beaus... is one of bandleader Fred Waring's jazziest sides of the post-acoustical era, and my copy yielded a great rip (I think). Possibly the coolest of the set is Joseph C. Smith's remarkable Money Blues, penned by Hugo Frey, who, far as I know, was Smith's chief arranger. Though recorded in 1916, in style the side sounds more like 1922 or 1923. Meanwhile, its aggressive percussion is something we would expect from James Reese Europe or Wilbur Sweatman, not a white society band known for its genteel approach to post-WWI pop! Totally cool. The flip side, I've Got a Shooting Box in Scotland (penned by Cole Porter), is a far more typical Joseph C. side, and, like most of his Victor tracks, is fantastically well played. Ted Lewis' very fun and corny Queen of Sheba is way-early jazz--stylistically, it harkens back to jazz when it was just on the brink of becoming so. When jazz was a kind of ragtime music with the parts going their own way, ad-libbing but not exactly improvising, being that the rules of jazz polyphony had yet to be codified. Or whatever the heck I just typed. Actually, the traditional jazz-historical verdict on Lewis is far harsher--as in, Lewis' music as an inept parody of jazz, vice the almost-jazz I think it is.
Footloose is better in Paul Whiteman's version, but Carl Fenton's is quite a kick, too. Too bad they couldn't have gotten Billy Murray to sing this one, too. Enjoy!
Early in the Morning Blues--The Virginians, 1922.
Why Is Love (Arr: Grofe)--Paul Whiteman Orch., 1925.
Her Beaus Are Only Rainbows--Waring's Pennsylvanians (Voc: Tom Waring), 1926.
Humming--Paul Whiteman Orch., 1921.
Rosie--Medley--Paul Whiteman Orch., 1920.
Money Blues (Hugo Frey)--Joseph C. Smith's Orch., 1916.
I've Got a Shooting Box in Scotland (Porter)--Joseph C. Smith's O., 1917.
Queen of Sheba (Lewis)--Ted Lewis Jazz Band, 1921.
Footloose--Carl Fenton's Orch., 1925.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Me, on the Casio WK-3800, multi-tracked with Sonar X2 software. Today's three gospel hymns are
Sound the Battle Cry (William F. Sherwin, 1869)
The Banner of the Cross (Chas. H. Gabriel, 1918)
Storm the Fort (John H. Tenney, 1879)
Click here to hear: SMG for 8/23/15
Monday, August 17, 2015
That's me, from my beard(ed?) period of recent times. I was able to sustain it for several months, but eventually my skin said no. Always happens. Sucks, because a beard is ideal for me, but no point getting hairy about it, I suppose.
The hand is mine, too, and I'll have to note that it's had far fewer dry-skin issues after we switched to Mrs. Meyers liquid hand soap. This is not an ad, but give Mrs. Meyers a try. Ditch the 409 and get her Multi-Purpose Everyday Cleaner. Best stuff in the world.
This evening's gospel selections are, as ever, me on my Casio WK-3800, multi-tracked up to eight times via my Sonar X2 program--the one I gave up on at least four times in the course of learning it. I guess my favorite (after God Is Working His Purpose Out) is Hubert Parry's 1916 Jerusalem, which I first heard from Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery (my brother's LP, not mine) and then on a Monty Python episode. The tune shows up in the Methodist hymnal with the hymn text O Day of Peace That Dimly Shines, but it will be forever associated with the following awesome William Blake poem:
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire;
Bring me my Spear: O cloud unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand;
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green & pleasant Land
I piled up a ton of tones on Jerusalem, because I like the thick sonic texture that results from doing so, even if some of the sounds end up slightly lost in the mix. I'm thinking the three pianos, for example, which provide wonderful support but don't exactly dominate. The cello and flute are the stars of this arrangement.
Be Strong! and Holy Is the Lord are killer tunes I've been using over my past 20 years as a small-church organist and pianist. (They're in my "Old Standbys" folder, along with Vom Himmel Hoch and The Glory Song.) Plus, six more, including a Lee Hartsfeld original from around 1990--my Offertory in F Major, in F Major.
Don't B-flat. B-sharp. B-natural.
Click hear to hear: Sunday Evening Gospel for 8/16
God Is Working His Purpose Out (Millicent Kingham, 1894)
Jerusalem (Hubert Parry, 1916)
And Can It Be That I Should Gain (Thomas Campbell, 1825)
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (John Hughes, 1907)
Infinite God, To Thee We Raise (Joseph Barnby, 1872)
Be Strong! (Carl Price, 1921)
Mighty God, While Angels Bless Thee (Francois Barthelemon, 1785)
Offertory in F Major (Lee Hartsfeld, 1990)
Holy Is the Lord (William Bradbury, 1869)
Lee Hartsfeld, on the Casio WK-3800.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Six selections for our Sunday just-after-morning, all played by me on my Casio WK-3800 and multi-tracked and mixed on/with my Sonar X2 program, with audio effects added on my MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab MX and I think I'm missing a few commas here but what the heck it's cyberspace. That's me, above, matted in front of some church (the photo was titled "pretty church"). Now you know.
These selections will make you feel all gospel-y. Charles Gabriel's Thou Mighty to Save is my favorite, even if my Casio orchestration makes it sound like a Ferris wheel accompaniment. I also love Ira Sankey's Go and Work! tune, a totally new one on me. It does the once-standard routine of having the verse in 3/4 and the chorus in 4/4. That was cutting-edge back in the day (late 19th and early 20th centuries). 1868's Christian, Dost Thou See Them? is a gorgeous tune which I'm playing a little too fast here. It's by the great John B. Dykes, best known for the music to Holy, Holy, Holy! and the magnificent Eternal Father Strong to Save, which I've always placed second on my Greatest Hymns list, after Martin Luther's A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (a.k.a. the Davey and Goliath theme).
The other three are church standards, but only at this blog can you hear me playing them in seven or eight combined tracks--hence, they don't betray the name of my blog. That is, you (possibly) won't hear them anyplace else, unless the tracks are swiped, a la my SoundCloud tracks, and featured in various free-mp3 playlists--in which case, my blog title is a lie, and I'm a fraud, and Limon isn't really the secret of Sprite.
To the hymns:
Sunday morning gospel for 7/26
Thou Mighty To Save (Chas. H. Gabriel, 1917)
Go and Work (Ira Sankey, 1907?)
Spirit of the Living God (Trad., arr. Ralph Vaughn Williams, 1906)
Christian, Dost Thou See Them (John B. Dykes, 1868)
St. Thomas (Aaron Williams, 1770)
O, Master Let Me Walk with Thee (H. Percy Smith, 1874)
Played by Lee Hartsfeld on his Casio WK-3800.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Bet you can't tell that I used a desk lamp to light this 78 sleeve. (There's only the blatant right-hand glare to give it away.) Song of India doesn't appear in the playlist--it just happened to be the Whiteman disc at hand when I took this shot. It was an instance of grabbing the nearest Paul Whiteman 78. Just another day in the Media Room.
Now that we've cleared all of that up, below are links to eleven sides by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, all ripped by moi, that date from 1926 to 1928. And all of which feature arrangements by Ferde Grofe. Grofe is not liked by the jazz critics who write about Paul Whiteman, and ask me if I care. ("Do you care?") No, I do not. To those critics: Pfffffthhht! Grofe was a brilliant arranger. The proof is in the 78s.
Manhattan Mary, 1927.
When I'm in Your Arms, 1926.
I Always Knew, 1926.
Moonlight on the Ganges, 1926.
Shanghai Dream Man, 1927.
The Japanese Sandman, 1928.
Lonely Eyes, 1926.
Ma Belle, 1928.