Thursday, September 2, 2010

Brian Wilson Does Gershwin


I just finished listening to the new Brian Wilson CD, "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin".  Let me cut to the quick, if you like the Brian Wilson sound, you will like this CD.  If you like Gershwin you will like this CD. If you like the Brian Wilson sound and Gershwin songs, you will love this CD.  It turns out that the only Gershwin song that Brian knew before he made this CD was "Rhapsody in Blue" because he said his family played the record all the time at home and the melody really got into his head and has never left.  I find it hard to believe that in all the years Brian has been a major player in the music industry, he never got to know any other Gershwin songs. But that's exactly what he said when he was interviewed on XM radio's Nancy Sinatra show last week. This fact makes Brian's approach to many of these Gershwin gems very interesting.  He sang each song with an open mind and without any restraints caused by hearing the many classic recordings.  One other comment from Brian was that he was musically influenced at an early age by the music of the Four Freshmen. I had never heard this before and in thinking back about the "Beach Boys" sound, you can pick up some of the voice harmonies that the Four Freshman made famous.  Personally I really liked the CD.  I enjoyed the "Pop" approach to these "Super Star Songs" from the "Great American Songbook".   In particular, I really liked Brian's arrangement of the Gershwin song "The Like in I Love You".  I was not familiar with this Gershwin song but loved the melody and lyric. There are also four songs that sounded very much like the "Beach Boys": "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "I Got Rhythm", I've Got A Crush On You and "Nothing But Love". I loved them all.  And last but not least, there were five songs that Brian did as a solo that showed me a new side of his great talent.  His approach and sound was just great on: "I Loves you Porgy", "Love Is Here To Stay", "It Ain't Necessarily So", "S'Wonderful" and "Summertime".  At times Brian sounded the way I think "Sting" would sound singing these songs.  I hope this CD is very successful for Brian and encourages him to do another CD from songs listed on my "Top 20 Greatest Songs Ever Written in the Great American Songbook". I would be honored to work on the development of the playlist with Brian. Brian, have your people call my people!
Get the CD, you won't be disappointed!

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