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December 25, 2011

Song of the Day #1011

Song of the Day: We Are Santa's Elves, words and music by Johnny Marks, is performed by the Elf Orchestra (actually Videocraft Chorus) on the classic stop-motion animation Rankin-Bass TV special, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Check out the song scene on YouTube. And a Merry Christmas to one and all!

December 15, 2011

Song of the Day #1010

Song of the Day: Zanzibar, words and music by the prolific Billy Joel, is a selection from the #1 1979 Grammy Award winning Album of the Year, "52nd Street," a paean to that Manhattan Street known for its legendary mid-twentieth century jazz scene (including "Swing Street," between 5th and 6th Avenues). The recording features changing rhythms and hues, and scintillating solo work by the late, great jazz horn player, Freddie Hubbard. The second section of Hubbard's solo is faded out on the original album, but an "unfaded" version of the song is a highlight of the boxed set, "My Lives." Check out the original album version on YouTube, a "demo" version, and the "unfaded" version too, where Hubbard's extended solo is utterly stupendous. Whew! This is the first "Z" song to appear on "My Favorite Songs," and any tune that mentions "jazz guitar" gets extra points from me any time!