dingle at baldwin-net.com
Thu May 29 08:29:52 PDT 2003
It is worth noting that the top winner in the recent rankings for vocal
artist of the year and album of the year was Nora Jones, who sings in a
softer, melody-driven style that evokes aural images of a younger Peggy Lee
or Lee Wiley. Hers is the first album of a "now" generation singer I have
laid my bucks down for in a long time; and it is because she knows how to
honor a melody without making each vocal an exercise in outdoing a piccolo
obbligato with lots of meaningless add-on notes not anywhere near the
One shudders in remembering Aritha's vocal version of Ave Marie last year.
The whirring sound in the background was the dead composer turning over in
his grave at full flank speed.
The misuse of melody by singers in this past decade or two has trained young
ears to not recognize one. What hearing many will have left by age 30 may be
less than that of your grandfather's at age 70. You know you're in for it
when you see a nine-drum set-up in a band with a mike on each one. One is
justifiably grateful when you walk in Andy's in Chicago and see Wayne Jones
with his minimalist set just swing the ass off the band.
Ms. Nora Jones' CD was a welcome sign that there may be better things ahead.
> I've been noticing, more & more, a trend towards percussion based music
> in what is being produced for, and listened by young people. I say
> percussion, meaning: vs. melodic.
> While in Boston recently, I went to see Blue Man Group, which is 100%
> percussive based. It's an interesting experience, if any of you are in
> an area where they are playing. Very professionally done. Two hours of
> very dynamic drumming! Felt like we were in the year 2030 or 2050, and
> I daresay the "music", if it keeps going as it is, will end up just like
> what you'll hear in this show in the future.
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