Music Notes

Steve Tyrell

Steve Tyrell is a singer with a distinctive voice who has produced some wonderful albums of the old standards – music from the ‘30s and ‘40’ being my definition of “old standards.”  Yet I had my doubts when I saw his CD titled The Disney Standards.  I heard and loved his version of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” which he did with the great Dr. John, but what can you do with songs like “Cruella De Vil,” “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat,” and “Baby Mine”?  In the case of Tyrell, he created a delightful album with great arrangements.  Some songs sounding like ballads, others like big band numbers, and some sounding a bit jazzy.  Some of the numbers are better than others, of course, but they’re all good thanks to Tyrell’s creativity and obvious joy in singing them.  But don’t take my word for it, listen to the songs for yourself.

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Evelyn Glennie is a world-class percussionist.  She also happens to be profoundly deaf.  Glennie, who was musically inclined as a child, became deaf by age twelve, but can still perform at the highest level.  How?  In part she feels the music through her bare feet as she performs on stage.  You can read about this amazing musician here, and see a video of her performing here.

There are many other videos of this remarkable musician on the internet.

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I have fond memories of the hundreds of LPs that I owned, and of the joy it gave me to listen to them at home, and to share them with listeners on public radio.  But when the compact disc (CD) became popular LPs disappeared from the stores.  However, the technology of a needle riding a groove in a vinyl record has been revived because some people feel that this technology – which is well-over 100 years old – cannot be matched by the technologically superior CD.  Aficionados of music will tell you that there is a “warmth” in those vinyl records that is unmatched by any other recording medium.  It may seem puzzling, but the vinyl LP is back.

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Herbie Hancock, who was recently a Kennedy Center honoree, had been named professor of poetry at Harvard University.

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The Academy Award nominated have been released – including those for Best Song.  Here is an article from the Los Angeles Times about the nominees.

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Many who had never heard of an entertainer named Liberace learned a little about him thanks to a recent HBO movie titled Behind the Candelabra.  What you may not know is that Liberace was a well known star during the early days of TV.  He wore flashy clothes, and always had a candelabra on his piano, but those props weren’t necessary.  Liberace was a virtuoso pianist who dazzled his audience with his playing.  Here is Liberace performing Irving Berlin’s 1915 hit “I Love a Piano.” It is an excellent example of his musicianship.  The video includes a photo album of different – sometimes strange looking – pianos that may compete with the music for your attention.

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