Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Heard Norah Jones on the Quality Rock station today. Very pleasant and sultry, and while not particularly memorable, neither unmelodious. She has an “instant classic” appeal, which I hadn’t noticed since the two classic Crows -- Counting and Sheryl -- got going in the early ‘90s. While I enjoy coming across Counting’s hits on the radio, I’m a big fan of Sheryl’s first two albums. Don’t know how much I’ll warm to Ms. Jones’s stuff, but I don’t mind hearing her.


Also heard a swingin’ nightclubby-bluesy cover of Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’” on the “great songs, great memories” AM station today, with a velvetty smooth singer & swinging bluesy organ. Who is it, I wondered -- Al Hibbler? Nah. Whoever, it’s happenin’! Charles Brown? Yeah, I think so. (Original singer of “Merry Christmas Baby.”) I think it’s him.

Nope. Joe Williams with Count Basie on organ. Count Basie studied with Fats Waller, and organ was Waller’s favorite instrument. Hitting the spot.


My friend Jay Sherman-Godfrey writes today:

In the car on the way to school, listening to Phil Schaap on KCR, doing a special Brown vs. edition, talking up some Bird, talking social change, talking jazz revolution, and talking, and talking, and talking... When I turned off the car, still talking.

Where's my Bird!

Love Phil -- love the talk, but...

In the Deli, Frankie Valli intones "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."

Every time I hear that now I think of your pointing out the incongruity of belting out passionately, "and if its quite alright..."

JOHN REPLIES: I borrowed that observation from classics scholar W. R. Johnson, writing in his book “The Idea of Lyric,” a history of lyric poetry, up to and including its survival in the jukebox, Frankie Valli’s song being Exhibit A. Love that song, love that line, love Prof. Johnson’s observation. (Editorial note: Those are Jay’s ellipses.)

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