Friday, September 14, 2007

Musical Diversions for a Friday

My feet are tapping and my head is bobbing. I'm working away in my office and my computer's MP3 player is playing big band music from my collection: Glen Miller, Harry James, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Xavier Cugat and much more. There is even a cut of Django Reinhard and St├ęphane Grappelli performing "Begin the Beguine." The 1940's was a period rich in music innovation, with many gifted band leaders, singers and musicians.

I love music. I listen to just about everything from classical to pop. I can't get into hip hop and rap, or much from the bubble gum bimbettes like Britney Spears and the like, but otherwise I am pretty open.

I have some all-time favourite individual pieces and collections that I particularly like. They make a pretty eclectic collection. In no particular order, I have linked some of my favourites to YouTube videos or sites where more information is presented:

Tchaikovsky's Third, Fifth and Sixth symphonies. Although the melodramatic Fifth is my favourite of the group, the more serene Third and Sixth are beautiful for their soaring beauty and haunting melodies. The opening bars of the Third symphony give me chills every time I hear them.

Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb contains one of rock music's best guitar solos, played by David Gilmour. There isn't a misplaced note anywhere. I listen to this one often.

George Harrison's Savoy Truffle is one of my favourite tunes by the 'Quiet Beatle.' Why? I don't know. It just tickles me and I love to listen to it. Watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

Les Paul and Chet Atkins' Chester and Lester Album. The whole thing. I never tire of it. The spirit of fun and the talent of these two guitar giants makes this album very special.

Willie Nelson's Funny How Time Slips Away. This one of Willie's best songs.

What are your musical favourites? Maybe I can add some music, so far unknown to me, to my listening list.


  1. Forty four years ago I lived in Hawaii in the attic of a big old stone mansion of Mrs. Ho. She had a nephew who lived there who was an entertainer. Sort of a combination of comic and magician.(He asked me to be his date a couple of times when he was performing. One time we went to see Peter Nero play at the Hawaiian Village and afterwards we went joined Peter at a tiny Japanese restuarant where I had the best shrimp tempura). Anyway, my point. Therefore entertainers visited the house. One day Chet Atkins was playing a quitar on the huge front porch. That was my point.

  2. Hawaii always makes me think of Don Ho. I wonder if your friends were related? As a guitarist (although not in the same league as Chet Atkins, by far) myself, I would have loved to meet Atkins. I never really appreciated his playing until I grew older (wiser?!) and now realize that I could have started listening to him decades earlier.

  3. Willie Nelson - one of my faves! We've just picked up on Michael Hearne -- he used to play with Michael Martin Murphy. Both are in Taos, New Mexico now. Good music, recommended.

  4. one of my coolest cds is Stephan Grappelli's "Young Django." Brilliant stuff, incredible listening, and wonderful music for dinner parties, etc. When I pop that one in, I always smile to myself, knowing I reek of coolness.

  5. Bonnie Rait, Bette Midler, Cindi Lauper, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison,
    Big Bands, Eagles, old Jimmy Buffett, Vivaldi and other classical, Perry Como... many more including Willie Nelson.

  6. phlegmfatale: That CD is incredible. Sadly, few people, besides jazz and/or guitar nuts, know anything about Django Reinhardt.

    Jean: Great list; love em' all. I remember watching old Perry Como shows on TV, and his impersonators who would imitate his laid-back style by singing lying down on stage. Good music, all.

  7. I ADORE Willie's Funny How Time Slips Away. In fact, his album "Healing Hands of Time" is a must buy if you're a fan of his.

    In the classical department, my two favorite pieces have to be Beethoven's "Emperor Concerto" (achingly beautiful) and Lizst's "Les Preludes."

    Other than those, I'm pretty much a folk music fan. You know, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell and that. What a great post; it's always fun reading about musical preferences.

  8. bellezza: Thanks for the input. I don't immediately recall Beethoven's "Emperor Concerto," but I will look it up.

  9. My favorite music?
    Man, is that a simple question with a complex answer!
    SOME of my fave albums:
    Somewhere In Time - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    The End Of The Innocence - Don Henley
    Echoes - Pink Floyd
    God First - Bob Stanley
    The Chronic - Dr. Dre
    Holst: The Planets - Montreal Symphony Orchestra
    Weathered - Creed
    The Battle For Everything - Five for Fighting
    As you can tell, anything's fair game.

  10. Very eclectic taste you have there, Galt. I love The Holst piece as well, but have to admit I have no idea who Bob Stanley is. I'll look him up.

  11. I eclectic when it comes to music. Well, not only music. Come to think of it, I'm eclectic all the way around. LOL!

    I enjoy listening to music I can move to. Can't help it, I have Spanish and Italian blood. I also enjoy listening to classical, ballroom, country, reggae, Christian rap, jazz, crooners, big band, hip hop and some other types that are hard for me to classify.

    I like the beat of the rap and hip hop, but if the words are offensive, I don't listen to it. I get ticked off because it has great beat but I'm convicted not to listen to certain words. The English language has so many words, why use the offensive ones to create music. URGH!!! But we all have the freedom to do and say as we please. So, I know I have the choice to listen or not.

    We play music all the time at home. He have a pretty extensive collection. We listen to everything from Disney Classics (lol!, UB40, Elvis, Il Divo, Brad Paisely, Toby Keith, Mozart (we got to visit his birthplace we we went to Austria), Brahms, Vivaldi,Bach, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Toby Mac, Sting, Julio Iglesias, El Puma, Marc Anthony, Celine Dion, the Bee Gees (I know, I'm showing my age here- lol), Journey, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Etta Jones, Bryan Adams and so on.

    I also like to listen to some movie sound tracks. Like The Lord of The Rings Trilogy (all three tracks), Shall We Dance, Cold Mountain, Take The Lead, We Were Soldiers, Last Of The Mohicans and others.

    I really enjoyed your entry, I guess cause I enjoy listening to music. :o)

  12. Oh, my cousin was at the Farm Aid concert. He had a booth set up to do a mural. Those that attended were able to help make the mural. They had a great turn out.

    Willie Nelson was one of the performers. When my cousin told me that I had to keep telling myself, "thou shall not covet". LOL! I'm a big fan of Willie Nelson.

  13. That's quite a list Lady~g. It cuts straight across the musical spectrum. It is good to have varied tastes. I love old-timers like Billie Holiday too. I like Brad Paisley because he is an accomplished guitarist and he has a sense of humour with his music. Good list!

  14. well, it's their loss if they don't bother to find out about Django - they're missing out.

  15. I decided to find out who Django was. Well, I really enjoyed what I heard. (check out:

    Then I read that he spend most of his youth in gypsy encampments. Which reminded me of a group I heard of a group we love listening to, The Gypsy Kings. check them out at:

    I've always loved the violin. But never learned to play it. My oldest taught herself (by ear- The Suzuki method) how to play the violin. My second daughter plays the saxophone and my third daughter plays the clarinet. My Knight fiddles with the guitar as a way of relaxing.

    Sorry about my long comments. I just had to let you know that I checked out Django. I didn't want to be one of those that missed out. :o) I also wanted to share about the Gypsy Kings.

  16. I like to read your comments, Lady~g. Django was an amazing guitar player and he spent a good part of his career playing with violinist Stephane Grapelli in Paris. Django got caught in a fire and suffered heavy damage to his left hand (the important hand to right-handed guitar players) and as a result had to play guitar with two fingers and his thumb. That was an amazing feat considering his technical skills and the sounds he coaxed from his guitar. An amazing guy!