Wednesday, November 30, 2005

In which David Combines Leon Redbone with Tico Tico

A couple weeks ago, in the very wee hours of Sunday morning, I accidentally caught a rerun of an ancient Saturday Night Live. The musical guest was Leon Redbone - with a couple sidemen, all sitting in a sort of Palm Court, wearing tuxes, doing an old-timey tune. Nice.

Leslie has several Leon Redbone LPs which I ripped to MP3s. All the songs are very laid back, stylistically pre-jazz and feature his lightly graveled voice on tunes like Shine on Harvest Moon, Melancholy Baby, Polly Wolly Doodle.

A few days later, on WFMU's Beware of the Blog, I came across an archive of sixty-some versions of the Latin-music-for-Americans tune Tico Tico. It's one of those pieces that attracts musicians who like to play fast and over orchestrate. "Cool!" I downloaded them all.

Listening to 3 hours of Tico Tico is a strong audio drug. "How 'bout some methedrine?" "No thanks I'm doing Tico Tico." It takes a long time to clean that twisty melody out of your brain.

My friend Scott commented on the many obvious differences between Leon Redbone & Tico Tico. This gave me a Light Bulb Moment! I created a playlist with both sets of tunes (total 4 1/2 hours) and turned on shuffle play - that is I mixed them randomly.

It actually works pretty well. Individually the two tend towards the monotonous. But in combination, they balance out pretty well. Two different musical worlds. That's why I like it.

If you want to listen to a few Ticos, - I suggest Xavier Cougat (#1) as urtext, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Perez Prado, Ferrante & Teicher (#1) (there's a little fugue) and Ebony & Ivory (interesting Brahmsian motion).

Oh, just listen to them all. I guarantee you'll move your hips more when you walk.

Music Reviews

1 comment :

David Ocker said...

One more thing - my own version of Tico Tico (entitled "Not So Cuckoo Cuckoo" is available here
or click on "Not So Cuckoo Cuckoo" in the list of my mp3s at the top of the right sidebar on this page.