Saturday, November 22, 2014

1000 SONGS - DAY 331 SONG # 362

DAY 331: A Tune with a Strange Title by a Genius that Hardly Anyone Remembers

Gary McFarland started with being a musician at age 25 or so; he attended the Lenox School of Jazz and  Berklee School of Music and  moved to New York City at age 27 to work as a musician. He became a well known and much sought-after composer and arranger working with the likes of Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O'Day, Gábor Szábó and others. When he went on doing some more popular music stuff, some folks of the self-assigned intellectual superiority predisposition seem to have critizised him for that. So, fama says, he went on to do one of his master works, namely a suite called "America The Beautiful: An Account of its Disappearance", which  reflects his dissatisfaction with the way US-American civilization went in sacrificing the beauty of its (first stolen and then inherited) landscape for the sake of capitalism (or so). He died a strange death, being poisoned at a New York bar in November 1971. Largely forgotten for a long time, some of his work has been rediscovered (and made availbale again) during the last years. Here is #2 from the said "America the Beautiful" a composition bearing the wonderful name "80 Miles An Hour Through Beer-can Country" (featuring many a fine musician, like Randy Brecker or Eric Gayle). As a bonus-track I add the Samba-version of "A Hard Days Night":

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