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Mark Blackburn

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Everything posted by Mark Blackburn

  1. Just left a note for my favorite living finger-style guitarist, Brazilian-born American WALTER RODRIGUES JR. titled "If guitars were played in heaven!" It's a hymn, popularized by the group TAKE 6. [I wrote] A Les Paul Custom never sounded so good as a jazz instrument. From your "Musician's Institute" days in L.A. right? Tell me your fellow students were impressed with you! I see it's been fully a decade since "The Erod1944" (below) first commented on "that stretch at 1:05. You make it look effortless. Reminded of the song James Taylor wrote for Chet Atkins: 'Me and My Guitar' -- with the refrain, "if he can't get to heaven? maybe I don't want to go!" Thanks for being you, Walter. For my money you are the best, and those great compatriots of yours, no longer with us, would have loved your playing. I'm thinking of finger-style giants Laurindo Almeida and Luiz Bonfa. p.s. Oh my! This arrangement is transcribed from Ralph Carmichael, my favorite arranger for Nat Cole (he orchestrated Nat's masterpiece Christmas album). Mr. Carmichael is still with us in his 90s, still arranging for gospel groups, His only rival, the great Johnny ("Shadow of Your Smile") Mandel left us three days ago, age 94).
  2. Feeling such joy -- and gratitude -- at seeing this gem for the first time tonight
  3. Reflection on the passing of a great composer/arranger
  4. THE HI-LO'S - A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
  5. Favorite live solo version of "A Nightingale Sang . . . "
  6. “Then YOU come on, and get boring.”"Well . . . that's known as a change of pace!”The things you miss – used to see 'live' only in NYC: from Broadway to cabaret at its very best. This, for instance. One of my favorite songwriters, and a great jazz pianist Dave Frishberg with Jessica Molaskey at the “Oak Room of The Algonquin” – a sort of 'round-table just for two' (as my favorite musical friend in New York might say.)Listen to this. I defy you not to smile – and laugh – at a song so musically literate, yet accessible to ordinary souls who “don't know pizzicato from pizza”!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwuVkz1NqCc
  7. After Frank's -- my favorite version of I'LL BE SEEING YOU
  8. WHAT'S NEW - Sinatra 'live' in his 70s - my favorite version
  9. And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen, he likes to keep his fire engine clean
  10. Pursuant to which . . . just sent James Taylor this note via Facebook, where I am a "Top Fan" (this day at least): Just had a reverie of you, invited to perform a song on stage at the next Grammy awards: You are seated next to an old RCA ribbon mic. You know the very one: the most familiar size and shape in the history of broadcasting. Still the best mic for bass notes. And when the engineers say, 'But we have a Neumann for you!' (Sinatra's mic of choice) please insist on the "RCA ribbon mic" (which you'll have to provide yourself) and get your own sound engineer to maximize the sound of your rich baritone, for just those lowest notes. For the sound bars on expensive TVs. Please, let them know in advance, just in case an award is coming that night for you and/or your brilliant 'two-guitar' arranger John Pizzarelli. How I want to see you two together on stage at that most prestigious show. No one will see it coming; most everyone in the audience and at home will want to Google for this brilliant song "we never heard before." Forgive the presumption, for it's only a dream. (Sounds like a song title. Or at least one written in England circa 1936.)
  11. Vera Lynn died today. She was 103. I'd just been thinking of my favorite of her WWII ballads, with the refrain “There'll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover – tomorrow, just you wait and see!” My Mom and Dad had a special fondness for this song -- especially the bridge (release) – capturing in so few eloquent words the hopes of a nation in it's “darkest hour” circa 1941. “The shepherd will tend his sheep, the valley will bloom again; and Jimmy will go to sleep, in his own little room again.” Everyone's favorite version at YouTube (1.1 million “views”) is this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hqtaoz4QFX8
  12. “The Chairman's Hour” is playing IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO
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