Friday, September 16, 2011

Fun Music Facts Series Vol. 3

All That Jazz, Baby!

1.  The Pat Metheny Group and David Bowie collaborated on This is Not America, released in 1985.  The single reached #14 on the UK charts and #32 on the US charts.  A live version was performed in 2000 by Bowie at the BBC Theater:

2.  Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius both toured with Joni Mitchell's backing band after her foray into the jazz world in the 1970s.  Pat Metheny's first solo album, Bright Size Life (released in 1976), featured Jaco Pastorius on bass.  Pastorius himself released his first solo album, Jaco Pastorius, also in 1976; many consider this album to be the best bass album ever recorded, and was praised by jazz critics.  (I adore Portrait of Tracy).

via                                             Jaco Pastorius

3.  Jazz music is one of the few music genres (perhaps the only one) whereby two performances of the same composition are never performed the same way due to changes in mood, improvisation, crowd reaction, tempo, interpretations and interactions with fellow band members.

4.  Since 1977, all of the royalties earned for the composition and performances of Take Five (written by Paul Desmond, most famously recorded by The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959) have been donated to the American Red Cross.  

Figure skaters Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill skated to Take 5 back in the 1990s (one of my favorite Torvill and Dean performances):

Here is a live version of Take 5 which differs from the original recording:

5.  There are approximately 30,000 known recorded versions of Summertime (written by George Gershwin for Porgy and Bess), making the song one of the most covered songs ever.  And thanks to Youtube, I discovered that Torvill and Dean also skated to Summertime back in 1982....those two had great music taste!  (Yes, I am/was a fan of figure skating...more so from the pre-2002 days...actually pre-1998!)

Have a splendid weekend and thanks for the great comments lately everyone! 


  1. Hello:
    What a fascinating collection of facts you offer for our delight here. We can recall 'Take 5' and Dave Brubeck clearly but never realised that Torville and Dean had skated to that tune. As for the rest, that was completely new and has ignited our interest in knowing more about Jaco Pastorius about whom we know only what we have read here!!

  2. darn, I'm at work and can't watch any clips. I will be back to view and re-comment!

  3. Excellent facts - i wondered why Jazz always seemed so individual to the performer - great post x

  4. Hattatts - Thank you -- I first heard of Jaco Pastorius through my sister-in-law, who has played bass since she was 14 years old and played in a band for years. We were both in awe of how he plays harmonics. He's a very intriguing character, one of a kind, unfortunately met an early demise.

    Laura - enjoy the clips (when you can!)

    F & F - thanks! I've only become interested in jazz music within the last few years and I'm barely scratching the surface with all these cool facts I'm finding! :)