Sunday, 21 October 2007

Until you've learned the meaning of the blues


I’ve been trying to learn a new song. It isn’t completely new for me, I’ve heard it years ago, but I don’t know it by heart, if you know what I mean.
I don’t read notes without playing, that is: I can’t sing straight from the notes. I have to play the piece with piano to learn the melody. Sometimes it’s hard, because I’m not a virtuoso with piano and the melody comes out in a peculiar way.
Luckily I have hundreds of CD’s and LP’s, but not all the music in the world and that is why I’m thankful for youtube.





I learned a while ago another song with youtube, and although Ella Fitzgerald was performing, I didn’t get upset. I sang it my way…




Today I’ve been listening to Etta James and her version of the song I’m bound to learn. Etta has turned jazzier in her old age, I prefer the young Etta with the raw rhythm’n blues style. I don’t hate jazz, just prefer the blues and that is why Ella Fitzgerald doesn’t thrill me half as much as Etta James, Koko Taylor, Wynona Carr or Bessie Smith. Billie Holiday is jazz for me, although many regard her as a blues singer. Her lyrics may be bluesy, but her interpretation is jazzy.




Dinah Washington is jazz, but luckily she recorded an album with Bessie Smith songs.




Listening to these female vocalists makes me want to sing like them. I know it’s an impossibility, but that doesn’t matter.
To want is not necessarily the same as to do.

4 comments:

KennethSF said...

When I was young, I used to hate blues songs. I thought they were just a bunch of depressed singers whining about their failures. Now that I'm steeped in life's disappointments, I'm grateful that they express for me in music what I can't in prose.

Peter said...

A pity, there is not a clip with YOU singing! Next time?

Mick said...

Peter just nailed it Susu! We know that you're making little films now ... one of you singing your favorite Etta James song would be just the ticket! :D

SusuPetal said...

Good gor you, Kenneth, not the disappontments, but the doscovering of the handiness of the blues. Yes, they do wxpress a lot of feelings.

A pity??? Peter, it's not a pity, it's a blessing. You just don't know it yet....and Mick, what I've learned in life, is never to say never, so maybe, when I've gone to singing lessons for ten years or so, I might, that is might, record on video a heart breaking blues. Hahhah, that'll be the day...worth waiting for, keep tuned...:))