Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Autumn Leaves" – Jazz on Nylon #5

Some music for an October Tuesday.

Odd tale indeed how this video came to be posted. I visited YouTube on Sunday wondering if there was a version of “Autumn Leaves” played on classical guitar. Indeed there is, & a very good version at that, played by a terrific guitar player I’d never heard before Naudo Rodrigues.

There was only one catch—embedding wasn’t available. Undaunted, I looked through what turns out to be Naudo Rodrigues’ vast catalog of performances—not only mind boggling in number, but also in the diversity of music he covers. Everything from traditional songs to jazz standards to rock to pop. He is clearly a phenomenon, & I would encourage anyone to check out his YouTube channel. There’s also a playlist assembled by another user, which can be found here. In any case, I found a live version of Django Reinhardt’s beautiful “Nuages,” & decided that would be a good fallback option. The sound quality isn’t as good, but the performance is first rate for all that—& embedding was allowed. Then this morning as I began to put the post together, I found that, overnight as it were, embedding had been disabled on this version of “Nuages”! On a whim, I checked back, & found that embedding is now allowed on “Autumn Leaves.” The vicissitudes of YouTube. Anyway, this is a caveat that the video may not available on the post for long, but if the embedded version goes away, it can be found at this link.

Naudo Rodrigues, as I was saying, appears to be a singular musical genius. There’s very little biographical information about him. He was born in Brazil & now lives in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He does perform locally. On the other hand, I can’t find much recording information, though there are about a dozen songs on iTunes. He seems to be—in addition of course to his live shows in Tenerife—a YouTube phenomenon. YouTube in its infinite wisdom closed down one of his accounts for copyright violation, but Rodriques opened a new one. In any case, his playing is superb, & he really deserves to be heard by a wide audience.

“Autumn Leaves” needs no introduction. Originally composed as “Les Feuilles Mortes” by Joseph Kosma with lyrics by the wonderful French poet, Jacques Prévert, the song moved into the “Great American Songbook” when Johnny Mercer composed the English lyric we know today. Yves Montand gave the original version its premier in 1946 in the film Les Portes de la Nuit, while Jo Stafford premiered Mercer’s English version.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is great! Thanks for introducing such a great talent, John.


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