Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Let`s call the whole thing George

An intriguing trick, but it works very well here. The piano part is exactly synched to Fred and Ginger's singing. . . and then they rollerskate.

Jack Gibbons transcribes Gershwin's original piano rolls note-for-note, then attempts to take a seat in George's chair. Which he can't quite do - no one can. But I do appreciate the attempt, especially in cutting through all the layers of smarm and sentimentality that have accrued over the years. Most singers seem to howl Gershwin, or yodel him, or half-sob him, pulling up all kinds of drama that was never meant to be there. Just sing it, and the song will do the rest.

I think of George as a kind of shimmering iridescent musical peacock. There's so much going on at the same time that you can't keep track of it all - but you don't have to, because the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In my Gershwin journey there have been times I've felt almost physically lifted up, or turned in some strange way, as he turned and lifted up musical history, almost casually. No one was as full of paradox, and in the end, no one was as wounded, and by those who claimed to love him.

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