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Jim Besser

Poll: Tune Of The Month, Sept 2015

TOTM Sept 2015  

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Can it possibly fall? Maybe we should put Autumn Leaves in this month’s poll. Oh wait, we did that already.

 

Whatever. Here’s a selection of tunes for your consideration as the September 2015 Tune of the Month; vote for the one you’d most like to learn, record and post. Or just learn; that’s OK, too, although we all benefit from hearing the way other players approach the monthly tune.

 

Swedish: Jänta å ja

 

Here’s a catchy little Swedish tune - or maybe Norwegian, I'm not really sure - often used in this country for folks dancing the hambo, played here by my friend Bill Quern on melodeon. And a version on one row melodeon, and one on fiddle.

 

Here's a sort of mellow sung interpretation. And how about a rocked up version? Sung at a wedding.

 

This tune seems to inspire bizarre interpretations, like this. And for off the charts bizarre, check out this one.

 

Jazz: Back home in Indiana

 

A catchy little Tin Pan Alley classic written in 1917 and performed by artists ranging from Louis Armstrong to Jim Nabors (remember Gomer Pyle?)

 

My personal favorite: this wonderfully, jazzy oldtimey version by - are you ready for this? - Jerry Garcia.

 

Here’s the classic Armstrong version , and one by jazz great Lester Young. How about a sung rendition by the Mel-Tones, featuring the mellow voice of Mel Torme? Or a lively country-western version?

I really like this clean Western swing fiddle version. And on guitar.

 

They keep on coming: here's a throaty Marlene Dietrich singing it, and Rosemary Clooney.

 

French Canadian: Evit Gabriel

 

This popular contra dance tune is commonly termed a French Canadian reel, which might not be entirely accurate; according to thesession.org, it was “written by Daniel Thonon, a musician and composer who was born in Brussels in 1949 and emigrated to Canada in 1963.”

 

No matter: it’s a wonderful, driving reel that never fails to evoke whoops from dancers. But I’ve also heard it played slow and evocatively at sessions.

 

Curiously, it starts almost the same way as the late Bob McQuillan’s Dancing Bear, which sometimes produces interesting results among dance bands.

 

Here’s a somewhat sedate contra dance clip, and a nice trio version.

 

Also, a driving version by a big band with a concertina tucked in the middle.

 

This is a pretty notey tune, and most musicians I know simplify it a bit. Here's an example from a session I attended maybe 15 years ago. Off to a slow and rocky start, but it picks up steam!

 

Scottish: Bonnie Lass of Bon Accord

 

I heard this lovely tune at a recent session played by a talented Scottish fiddler, and was immediately taken with it.

 

It was composed by James Scott Skinner, who also did a minor variation; the two are often played together, which makes for an intriguing set.

 

Here they are together in the characteristically snappy Scottish manner:

 

A gorgeous harp version here, and a nice uptempo version on fiddle. Here's one with a very different feel to it.

 

That's September's poll. Please vote, and please participate once we have a winner.

 

And please, please send along your suggestions for future TOTM candidates!.

Edited by Jim Besser

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For someone born in Aberdeen, there could only be one choice! :wub:

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For someone born in Aberdeen, there could only be one choice! :wub:

 

I lived there & in the surrounding shire, for many years, so my choice is easy, too. B)

 

Incidentally, for anyone interested in this tune, here's a link to Skinner's actual written MUSIC for the tune & an old recording of him actually playing his TUNE.

 

Cheers,

Dick

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Dick,

 

didn't make it to actually listen to one of the recordings, but this is beautiful right from the dots...!

 

Thanks for posting, best wishes - Wolf

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Dick,

 

didn't make it to actually listen to one of the recordings, but this is beautiful right from the dots...!

 

Thanks for posting, best wishes - Wolf

 

Naturally, you understand Wolf, I wasn't trying to influence the result of the poll by posting the music. :ph34r:

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I think it's been att least a week since I saw a new vote in this poll, and the time for the poll to close is tonight. If you have a preference, you should vote now.

 

BUMP!

 

(For what it's worth, I haven't heard that any of the major media sources, celebrities, or political candidates has expressed a preference, so you'll have to depend on your own personal taste. B))

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With these polls, I normally avoid expressing my own opinion until I can no longer influence the results, but this time I'm making an exception:

 

More than one good selection, in my opinion, but I voted for Å jänta å ja. Why? I've known that tune for almost 50 years from a recording used in international folk dance circles for the hambo, which a few times I heard copied by live bands. A simple and, it seemed, tiresome tune... though I now realize it was the performance I found uninspiring. I was unaware that the tune had lyrics, and I had never heard anyone try to give it a more interesting treatment.

 

Jim B's links have completely changed that for me (even though one of them is apparently unavailable in Europe). If played with more feeling, I find it's a much more interesting tune, even when done simply. But its simplicity also leaves room for great freedom in interpretation. Great stuff in some of Jim's links (though I'm not thrilled by the Osmond brothers). I particularly like the Japanes one, which I don't find at all "bizarre"; the arrangement, especially the harmonies, I think would be right at home in Sweden, e.g., if played on fiddles and pump organ.

 

And so I'd really like to hear what we here on concertina.net could do with it. Old-timey flavor? Morris? French? Irish? Medieval? Jazz? Baroque? Heavy metal? Something else? Most of those are beyond my own imagination, but I'll bet not beyond "our" imagination. And that's why I want it to win. ;)

 

Okay. Enough electioneering. I/we will see tomorrow which tune actually wins. :unsure:

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And so I'd really like to hear what we here on concertina.net could do with it. Old-timey flavor? Morris? French? Irish? Medieval? Jazz? Baroque? Heavy metal? Something else? Most of those are beyond my own imagination, but I'll bet not beyond "our" imagination. And that's why I want it to win. ;)

 

Okay. Enough electioneering. I/we will see tomorrow which tune actually wins. :unsure:

 

Electioneering is fine.

 

I had a similar reaction to Å jänta å ja. I've played it for contra dance hambos, and it's always played very indifferently - hambos, as you know, are just thrown into contra dance programs for the relatively few dancers who like to do them, and most contra bands don't have a clue what to do with the music.

 

There is a lot you can do with it, and I'm figuring I'll play around with the tune even if it doesn't win.

Edited by Jim Besser

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Hey Jim,

 

There's a clear winner this month. Are you going to announce it, or should I? ;)

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Hey Jim,

 

There's a clear winner this month. Are you going to announce it, or should I? ;)

 

Huh? I posted it before midnight, and there are 46 views so far. Is this tune banned in Denmark?

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=17997

 

So you did!

 

Weird. I use the View New Content option to see what's been posted recently, and my browsers display the links color-coded as to whether or not I've already looked at them. Your announcement was marked as having been read, but I looked at it just now, and I most certainly had not seen it before. I suppose I overlooked it because it wasn't marked as new/unread, but I have no idea how it got misclassified.

 

Anyway, now I have seen your post. Sorry for the confusion.

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Hey Jim,

 

There's a clear winner this month. Are you going to announce it, or should I? ;)

 

Huh? I posted it before midnight, and there are 46 views so far. Is this tune banned in Denmark?

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=17997

 

So you did!

 

Weird. I use the View New Content option to see what's been posted recently, and my browsers display the links color-coded as to whether or not I've already looked at them. Your announcement was marked as having been read, but I looked at it just now, and I most certainly had not seen it before. I suppose I overlooked it because it wasn't marked as new/unread, but I have no idea how it got misclassified.

 

Anyway, now I have seen your post. Sorry for the confusion.

 

 

No problem, I'm always doing things like that.

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