Thursday, August 24, 2006

Somewhere, over the rainbow...

Two music posts in a row, wow. What will people think.

I have long been of the opinion that there are certain pieces of music that don't need to be recorded ever again, because they have already been perfected. Here are a few:

  • Satisfaction - Rolling Stones
  • In The Mood - Glenn Miller
  • Yesterday - Beatles/McCartney
  • Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water - Garfunkel & the short guy
  • Best Day Of Your Life - Green Day
Of course there are others, and there is definitely some wiggle room. If one can really say something new, or offer a truly new reading of the song, then that's cool, too. But it doesn't often happen.

But when it does, we should revel in it. Recently I posted about Jake Shimabukuro, who has elevated the ukulele to a place reserved for guitar gods with his take on George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". But talents like him don't happen often.

One of the "untouchable" songs for me has always been "Over The Rainbow". Young tragic Judy Garland's take on it is sublime, a perfect mix of innocence and soul so compelling that I could not imagine it ever being considered seriously by another singer.

But many have tried. Lord, how they have tried. Overblown, histrionic, wrenching versions of the song have been attempted by many, and yet they always come up short.

Until these two:

A huge man, with a huge talent. I couldn't find any videos of him, but here is a video which uses his mix of "Somewhere..." and "What a Wonderful World".

As a former guitar player, I'm clearly a sucker for talent, virtuosity, and soul. This guy really has all three. Here he is playing what turns into a "Wizard Of Oz" medley. Stunning. Made me really smile.

3 comments:

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