Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Are There Other Kinds of Sunrises?

I've been listening to the excellent Encores! recording of Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein's The New Moon. More thoughts on this later, but just one thought for now: "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," a song for an operetta tenor, with Romberg's European operetta style and Hammerstein's high-flown, flowery, sometimes nonsensical language (the title of the song is one of the most famous redundancies in the history of songwriting), must be the unlikeliest jazz standard ever. I love the song; it's one of my favorite Broadway songs -- but the fact that so many jazz artists have taken it up seems almost as unlikely as "Die Fledermaus in jazz." Though I guess The Hot Mikado didn't do too badly.

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