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282: Shuli Natan, ‘Jerusalem of Gold’ (Naomi Shemer)

The vibrations and the beauty that are so uniquely my Jerusalem.

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281: Carla Bley with Steve Swallow, ‘Lawns’

This is what love at 60 should be–the gentle, warm intimacy born of years of two very individual individuals living together, creating a world bigger than the sum of their own selves.

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135: Kaveret, ‘Medina Ktana’ (Little Country)

It’s Israel’s 70th birthday today. We get pretty tired of seeing ourselves on the front page of the NY Times every day. On the other hand, we also see ourselves as the center of the universe. Go explain it. Well, this 1974 song does it best – our wry perception of our very existence, our precariousness, our homey patriotism – ‘Medina Ktana’ (‘Little Country’) by Kaveret (Beehive).

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042: Leiber & Stoller, ‘Yakety Yak’ (The Coasters)

SoTW is a non-profit, just-because-I-feel-like-it venture. So I’d like to give a sincerely warm welcome to all the folks who’ve subscribed to SoTW recently and give a wave to all my regular readers. I really am always glad to read your comments. Please do feel free to spread the word. Your readership and occasional input are what fuel this blog.
For y’all newbies–I’ve been writing this blog for about 15 years now, the last 10 in the present format. We’re closing in on 300 postings! You can find an almost up-to-date list of all the Song of The Week postings under the What’s New tab.
And this week’s SoTW–the very definition of ‘Oldie But Goodie’–the happy beginning-, middle- and end- story of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

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027: Lennie Tristano, ‘Wow’

An obscure club date by an obscure pianist and his band, forerunners of cool jazz.
Music for snobs, with some virtuosic playing that would make Paderewski blush.
Ice also burns.

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044: Paul Robeson, ‘Go Down, Moses’

Passover is just around the corner, and while She Who Must Be Obeyed is busy polishing the wine cups and sterilizing the corkscrew, I’ll try to squeeze in a few appropriate words on the music of the season. Paul Robeson’s (1898-1976) is a remarkable story by any standards. He brought to the concert hall the songs of faith through which his slave forbears expressed all the suffering and indignity they were living.

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105: The Boswell Sisters, ‘Crazy People’

The Boswell Sisters had 20 hits in the early 1930s, and are arguably THE best vocal jazz group ever. Their 3-part harmonies are tighter than Aunt Bertha’s girdle, and their arrangements are constantly chock full of unexpected shifts in tempo, major/minor mode, key, and tone, flipping cheekily from dead serious to insouciant comic and back. They have a wicked and sometimes rather racy sense of humor. Their vocals are so hot they were often thought to be black. They scat with the best of them, and do knock-out imitations of instruments and nonsense sounds. A pleasure and an education, 80 years on.

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280: Charles Ives, ‘The Unanswered Question’

Founder of a successful insurance company. on weekends he composed modernist music that lay unheard for 50 years and “responded to negligence with contempt”.
My new role model.

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