Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Word about the Old School

There are many MIT features that you just don't get at a lot of other schools. Some of these are of questionable merit. But not the Lewis Music Library.

Tucked away in the Humanities building (#14), where engineers dare not tread, the music library is a very literal treause trove. You're allowed to check out CDs, 5 at a time, for several days. This would be of great excitement for me even if I couldn't rip all of it onto the computer. Being the MIT music library they have almost no presence of rock or pop, but there's all the classical and jazz music you could ask for. So far I've checked out:

Thelonius Monk Quartet w/ John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
Herbie Hancock: Head Hunters
Beethoven's 5th, 6th and 9th Symphonies
Holst: The Planets
Oklahoma! Soundtrack
John Coltrane: Meditations
Profoviev's Peter and the Wolf
Modern Jazz Quartet: Fontessa
The "Catch Me if you Can" Soundtrack
Frank Sinatra: Best of the Columbia Years

Hugh Jackman is a bit of a letdown as "Curly" in the Oklahoma production. But Prokofiev was a big plus because it came narrated in English and then in Spanish. But the best so far, by sure magnitude, is Frank.

The Best of the Columbia is a 4-disc retrospective of young Frank, 1943-52. And this was a time when you sang standards. Over the course of a hundred songs, Frank sings "Over the Rainbow," "Blue Skies," "People will Say We're in Love (From Oklahoma)," "There's no business like show business," "Begin the Beguine" and most importantly, "Home on the Range." That's right. Frank crooning "Home on the Range." Words cannot tell you what it's like.

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