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

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Funny slip of the typing fingers in last night’s post on fade-outs, Sondheim, and Bacharach. The song isn’t “Send in the Clouds” -- it’s “Send in the CLOWNS.” I knew that. I like that song.

Cloudy thinking. Clouds in my coffee. I’m so vain, I think this song is about me.

Thinking about fade-outs, it occurs to me that jazz and classical composers haven’t completely come to terms with the medium of recording since they eschew fade-outs. Some tape composers in the classical tradition have used them and view recording as primary, but they’re off the beaten path. In jazz and classical, a recording is still almost exclusively a record of an in-the-air sound event -- often idealized through the miracle of splicing -- but rarely manipulated overtly. In pop, since Les Paul, really,* but especially since the mid-’60s, records stand tall in all their artificial glory, an entity separate from performances. I was really taken aback to notice a fade-out on a 1939 Count Basie recording. And it sounded great.

Curious to know whether anybody did it before 1939.

* Afterthought: The advent of the artificial pop recording dates back at least to the ’20s, when Rudy Vallee started crooning softly in front of a large band.
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