Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Take It Away, Ms. F and Mr. A

"They Can't Take That Away from Me" as sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Some things you don't need words for. Listen to Louis Armstrong stop speaking in the last line of this beautiful song. Who needs a syllable or two when you can make a soft loving growl do the same thing? When, with your singing partner, you've already created a world free of imperfection? What's equally perfect is that the great Ella finishes up her way. What's above perfect is the sound they make. All this after he's just asked her, "Would you repeat that again, dearie, please?" Who knows? Maybe the redundancy caused him to distrust language momentarily. I would've shut up for a moment or two myself, but I'm not a musical genius, so I'm sure it was something else. (Hint: it was musical genius.) 

The song is another great conversation between two great musical talkers. This time they're talking about loss, and they both get it: all the smiles and the mannerisms and the life-changing ways of the lost ones are cherished, but they're cherished calmly. (Of course, they both believe they may "never meet  [the lost one] again" -- in other words, they don't yet believe they've been deleted or erased, which is just no fun at all). If it weren't for the lovely, airy, heart-true (slightly sad) optimism of the trumpet (especially in the solo), I'd probably cry when I listen to this song. (Don't tell anyone, okay?)

"The way you haunt my dreams . . ." Being a great musical artist must make that phrase easier to sing than for some of us.

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