Sunday, March 17, 2013

O Danny Boy

St. Patrick's Day with Danny Boy!

Variations on a theme of almost anything is my favorite musical form. That and anything contrapuntal or imatative. This little journey on a particular theme I hope will leave you transformed in some way. Listen up, hang on and pay attention through the end. See what happens.

Ernestine Schumann-Heink 1929


Elvis the Presley 1976


Bing Crosby 1945


Wow. Andy Williams. Late 60's, early 70's. The charm, the phrasing, the effortlessness of masterful technique. The lungs! God, what a great singer!  Crushing on Andy since I was five years old.


Eva Cassidy 1994, Live at Pearl's


Eric Clapton


Keith Jarrett 2002, Tokyo

I've been a fan of Keith Jarrett's since I first laid ears on the Köln Concert album. This performance of O Danny Boy, this exquisite prayer, took me by surprise and touched me profoundly, physiologically. I felt like I wanted to cry but something else was happening.

I recently heard Bobby McFerrin talk about the first time he heard Keith Jarrett play at a club in Los Angeles in 1971 (in a band with Miles Davis, Airto Moreira, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Bartz and Micheal Henderson) "Here's a guy who walks out on stage, greets the piano, sits down and plays it without having any idea what's going to come out...I walked out of that experience molecularly altered to the nth degree. I felt like every cell in my body had changed. He changed the physical structure of my being. My mind was never the same after that."

Mahalia Jackson who knows whereof she sings. 1962, Great Songs of Love and Faith

THE Pogues! BBC Radio session 1984

Mario Lanza 1950, Be My Love

Harry Connick, Jr. has it all. This is his arrangement from his album Come By Me. 1999.

Percy Grainger plays his arrangement, Irish Tue from County Derry (Londonderry Air,) recorded 1945,

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.


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