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.
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.
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.
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:
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, 24 August 2015 - 09:27 AM.