About a year ago, I posted this video, one of those moments when commercial broadcast media and high art created something memorable together. It doesn’t need explication; for me, reverence is the most appropriate reaction.
Now, through the kindness of my friend Alessandro, I can share with you the complete audio of that encounter. The slight buzz suggests that it was recorded directly from someone’s television set, but the music is beyond compare. Grandpa could still play (!) and Rich, often accused of bluster behind the drum set, is a marvel of creative listening. For me, the delight comes from Rowles, that sly subversive one-man orchestra, with sets and costumes, going his own unexpected ways.
It was a “talk show,” so, first, a little chat:
Then, to the real business at hand, LIMEHOUSE BLUES:
A too-brief consideration of AS LONG AS I LIVE:
and that rare thing, an I GOT RHYTHM played for itself alone:
We must thank Merv Griffin for making room for this wondrous interlude, so precious then and now.
May your happiness increase!