Saturday, August 20, 2011

Burt Bacharach Day

When I started writing this blog in 2006, in a completely arbitrary decision, I decided the 20th of every month would feature a clip of Burt Bacharach music, because I like his melodies, chord changes, arrangements and unique ability to incorporate elements of bossa nova and jazz harmonies into pure pop.

My favorite Burt Bacharach composition is "Nikki". Something about that song gets me right there in the broken heart every time.

Many more Bacharach songs, especially those on the Burt n' Elvis album Painted From Memory, resonate deeply with me.

While I periodically miss a Burt Bacharach Day just by getting stuck for a clip I like, there's always Dionne Warwick in German (thank you, Bear Family Records and The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show on KFJC for alerting me to this).

Today's posting also reminds me to mention a concert tonight in Woodstock, New York by the much loved but short-lived pop group, The Left Banke (note: the 2011 version, led by Tom Finn and George Cameron, is based on the 1967-1969 ensemble that recorded The Left Banke Too, not the earlier Michael Brown incarnation of the band). The Left Banke's 1966 hit Walk Away Renee is a cornerstone of Baroque Pop. The genre's string arrangements and vocal harmonies strike me as artistic parallels both to The Beatles and Burt Bacharach.

Burt would very likely have, a la Brian Wilson and Sir George Martin, expanded the sonic palette yet further, incorporating nylon string guitars, Brazilian percussion and whatever other creative instrumental combinations his imagination could find.

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