Perry Beekman | 'S Wonderful

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'S Wonderful

by Perry Beekman

For the third part of his continued quest to explore the Great American Songbook with his Nat King Cole style trio, guitarist/vocalist/arranger Perry Beekman embraces George and Ira Gershwin with the very aptly titled 'S Wonderful.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Oh Lady Be Good
4:48 $0.99
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2. Nice Work If You Can Get It
5:15 $0.99
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3. Fascinating Rhythm
4:30 $0.99
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4. How Long Has This Been Going On
4:33 $0.99
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5. They All Laughed
4:15 $0.99
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6. I've Got a Crush On You
3:38 $0.99
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7. Soon
4:08 $0.99
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8. Love Is Here to Stay
5:45 $0.99
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9. Liza
3:19 $0.99
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10. But Not for Me
5:23 $0.99
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11. 'S Wonderful
2:51 $0.99
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12. Love Walked In
5:02 $0.99
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13. Someone to Watch Over Me
4:57 $0.99
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14. I Got Rhythm
3:29 $0.99
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15. Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
3:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The songs of George and Ira Gershwin are not only vastly important underpinnings of my own musical world, but many years after George’s passing in 1937, still a vibrant part of our larger cultural heritage:

- On a recent United Airlines flight, I really enjoyed the soundtrack of their new inflight safety video. It was “Rhapsody in Blue.”

- This coming April, theatergoers will be treated to the opening of “An American in Paris” on Broadway. It’s a new musical based on the 1951 Vincent Minnelli film, featuring the songs of George and Ira. How’s that for Au courant!

As with my previous releases, the music on this CD is a combination of carefully planned, well-rehearsed arrangements, along with some good old fashioned “blowing.” (As we jazz folk like to call improvisation.) My goal has been to create a setting for each tune that helps express its essential nature. Here are some examples of what I mean:

- “Oh Lady Be Good” has been a staple of the jazz player’s repertoire for decades. To herald its classic status, I quoted a bit of “Rhapsody in Blue” in the introduction. Then, I updated the chord structure to freshen things up a bit while still keeping the tune recognizable. Check out the “Soli” section at 3:04. I like to try to make the trio sound like a little big band!

- What makes “Fascinating Rhythm” particularly “fascinating” for me is George’s use of syncopation, a musical technique that places accents on the weak beats of the measure. Peter’s piano part evolves into a counter melody with the guitar to enhance the sense of the unexpected. Lou’s solid walking keeps it all swinging.

- I thought that a stripped down guitar/voice treatment of “I’ve Got a Crush on You” would be an effective way to perform this classic love song. The Gershwin’s originally wrote it as an up-tempo dance number. Lee Wiley was the first vocalist to slow it down and sing it as a ballad. After first playing an instrumental chorus in the classic chord-melody style, so do I.

- In addition to inspiring countless choruses of improvisation, jazz musicians have written innumerable melodies that fit over the chord changes of “I Got Rhythm”. I first sing the original melody, including the seldom-heard introductory verse. After the guitar solo, we play a melody I wrote as my small contribution to the creative tradition of “Rhythm Changes.”

Once again, I have the privilege of recording with my working trio, featuring Peter Tomlinson on piano and Lou Pappas on bass. I am deeply indebted to these two masterful musicians for their inestimable contributions and commitment.

For me, there’s nothing quite as “'S Wonderful” as a Gershwin tune. I hope that as you listen to these tracks, you’ll agree.


Best wishes,

Perry Beekman

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