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Black Light II / Sing a Song of Oscar

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February 22, 2005

This week, some primo material that didn't make it into the first Black History Month Show, music from Oscar-nominated scores, and music for the circus by local musicians.

PLAYLIST
Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
The Phone Company Retail Comedy at Wholesale Prices Stevens and Grdnic Bigger is supposed to be better, right?
Drummin' / Taxi Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk (OC 1996) Percussion: Jared Crawford, Raymond King; Tap: Savion Glover, Jimmy Tate, Baakari Wilder, Vincent Bingham Four black men - a street kid, a student, a businessman and a soldier - try (and fail) to flag down a taxi in New York city. Their anger is expressed in tap while a pair of street people beat out time on plastic drums. The show was produced by Tony-winning director and playwright George C. Wolfe.
The World is Waiting for Your Song Jelly's Last Jam (OC 1992) Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Company Back from the dead and reliving his life, Jelly Roll Morton encourages Young Jelly to draw inspiration from the New Orleans sounds surrounding him. George C. Wolfe wrote the book for this show.
Michigan Water Jelly's Last Jam (OC 1992) Mary Bond Davis, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Young Jelly finds out about the blues on the wrong side of town, courtesy of Miss Mamie and Buddy Bolden.
Harry Block: 417 Reasons Why You Should Let Us do Your Income Tax - Reason #323 The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Lee Richardson "We do not allow hordes of killer bees on our premises."
I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say The Pearls Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans Jazzmen Recorded in 1939, near the end of Morton's career and life (he died in 1941 in Los Angeles). Bolden himself is an enigmatic figure and little is known of his life aside from the fact that he was the first trumpeter to play the improvised music that would become "jazz". This tune is based on Bolden's theme song, "Funky Butt". The meaning of the lyrics is obscure, but it might have to do with the fact that Bolden ended his days in a madhouse.
Sidewalk Blues The Pearls Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers From September of 1926, this comes from the first sessions Morton did for Victor in Chicago.
Tanktown Bump The Pearls Jelly Roll Morton And His Orchestra This is from 1939, when Morton had moved to New York and saw his fortunes begin to decline.
Me Doctor Monty Python's Flying Circus Monty Python's Flying Circus What a silly way to carry on!
Doctor Jazz The Pearls Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers This Morton classic is from December of 1926.
Doctor Jazz By Jingo It's British Rubbish The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band I couldn't resist following up Morton's original with this deranged 1969 send-up. It's probably the only version of the tune to feature solos by tubular bells and a slide whistle.
Harry Block: 417 Reasons Why You Should Let Us do Your Income Tax - Reason #110 The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Lee Richardson "Many on our staff are Jewish - if you see what I'm getting at."
Al Otro lado Del Rio The Motorcycle Diaries (OS 2004) Jorge Drexler Drexler also wrote this number, which is nominated for the Oscar in the Original Song category.
Vois Sur Ton Chemin (Look to Your Path) Les Choristes (The Chorus) (OS 2004) Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc Choir This was nominated in the same category. The score for The Chorus is by Bruno Coulais.
Noah Visits The Village Hilary Hahn (violin), Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by Pete Anthony The Oscar-nominated score is by James Newton Howard
Hedwig's Theme Cinema: A Windham Hill Collection Tracy Silverman John Williams' Oscar-nominated score for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban opens with this theme, as do all the Harry Potter films.
Forgotten Overture Finding Neverland (OS 2004) Orchestra conducted by Nick Ingman Jan A.P. Kaczmarek has been nominated for his score for this somewhat soft-focus biopic about J.M. Barrie.
Harry Block: 417 Reasons Why You Should Let Us do Your Income Tax - Reason #408 The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Lee Richardson "If you are arrested for tax fraud, we will emphatically deny having anything to do with you, so as not to prejudice your case."
Onion Radio News 17 The Onion's Finest News Reporting Doyle Redland Blues Man Claims Yemen Done Him Wrong
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Chapter 11 ("Who Stole the Tarts?") Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Cyril Ritchard, New York Woodwind Quintet The Trial of the Century begins, with the Knave of Hearts charged with stealing tarts.
Comparative Lit 15 The Ten Minute University John Moschitta All the great works of literature, from The Bible to The Valley of the Dolls.
Harry Block: 417 Reasons Why You Should Let Us do Your Income Tax - Reason #287 The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Lee Richardson "Because the cost of our services is itself tax deductible, we promise to overcharge you considerably."
Circus Swing Circus Harmony: First Movement Farshid Soltanshahi Named after its Iranian-born leader and multi-instrumentalist, the group fuses jazz, blues, Latin and Middle Eastern influences. Farshid Soltanshahi is one of five local groups who provide the music for St. Louis-based Circus Harmony, which performs at City Museum.
Varshavers/Leibedig Medley Circus Harmony: First Movement Sandy Weltman and The Hebrew Hillbillies Harmonica virtuoso Weltman, who actually manages to get three full octaves out of a standard 10-hole diatonic harmonica, heads this Klezmer-based group.
Red Flowers On The Mountain Circus Harmony: First Movement Xiaoyu Yan (zheng) Yan is one of the very few professional zheng players in the United States. The zheng is a traditional Chinese lute, similar to the Japanese koto.
Drive Circus Harmony: First Movement St. Louis Osuwa Taiko Drummers This contemporary Taiko troupe adds jazz and dance elements to the traditional art of Japanese drumming.
Harry Block: 417 Reasons Why You Should Let Us do Your Income Tax - Reason #177 The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Lee Richardson "To determine reason 177, take reason 116, add reason 149, and then subtract reason 96 and enter the result in reason 204."
I'm Cravin' for That Kind of Love Wild About Eubie Joan Morris and Bill Bolcom This was one of several hits from Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle's 1921 hit Shuffle Along.
If You've Never Been Vamped by a Brownskin You've Never Been Vamped at All Eubie (OC 1978) Marion Ramsey and Company So was this. Eubie is a musical review based on songs by Eubie Blake.
Reet, Petite and Gone Five Guys Named Moe (OC 1992) Kevin Ramsey Five Guys Named Moe is the musical revue based on songs made popular by Louis Jordan
Caldonia Five Guys Named Moe (OC 1992) Doug Eskew The show encourages audience participation, especially in this cabaret sequence.
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens Five Guys Named Moe (OC 1992) Kevin Ramsey, Milton Craig Nealy
The Harlem Twist (East St. Louis Toodle-Oo The Okeh Ellington Duke Ellington I had just time enough at the end for this Ellington classic from 1928


Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.


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