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Catching Up: Brian Wilson Plays Gershwin

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

I am back from vacation and am going to clear out some email announcements in a series of posts, starting with this:

It’s an unprecedented meeting of two legendary musical minds, separated by 70 years. Pioneering musical genius Brian Wilson, co-founder of the Beach Boys, has teamed up with George Gershwin, in Wilson’s Disney Pearl debut CD, Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin. Featuring timeless classics like "Rhapsody in Blue," "I Got Rhythm" and "Summertime," the album makes history with "The Like in I Love You" and "Nothing But Love," two new songs Wilson crafted from never-before-published music by Gershwin. Wilson Reimagines Gershwin arrives at stores and online retailers on August 17, with a special vinyl edition set for release August 24. ...

Continues after the jump.

Said Wilson, “Along with Irving Berlin, Gershwin basically invented the popular song, but he did something more. He had a gift for melody that nobody has ever equaled, yet his music is timeless and always accessible. This is the most spiritual project I've ever worked on.”

Produced by Brian Wilson, mixed by multi-Grammy® winner Al Schmitt and joined by his longtime acclaimed band, the new album features the trademark stacked vocal harmonies and orchestrations that made Wilson a towering and revered figure in popular music. Songs include his Gershwin favorites, such as "Summertime," "I Loves You, Porgy," "I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’" and "It Ain’t Necessarily So" (all from the opera "Porgy and Bess”), "’S Wonderful," "I’ve Got a Crush on You," and "They Can’t Take That Away From Me." An a capella version of the groundbreaking 1924 orchestral piece "Rhapsody in Blue,” showcasing Wilson's stunning vocal harmonies, opens and closes the album.

Sure to draw passionate interest from music scholars and fans alike are the songs with "The Like in I Love You" and "Nothing But Love." The former is drawn from “Will You Remember Me?,” a song Gershwin composed in 1924 for the musical “Lady, Be Good!,” which never made it into the show. The latter is based on “Say My Say,” a 1929 song fragment the Gershwin brothers never fully completed.

Last year, Warner/Chappell Music and the Gershwin estates made available to Wilson more than 100 piano demos of unfinished or obscure songs and melodies left by George Gershwin at his death in 1937. Wilson narrowed these fragments down to two favorites, then created new music blending both the Wilson and Gershwin styles.

The following is a complete track listing from Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin:

1. “Rhapsody in Blue”/Intro

2. “The Like in I Love You”

3. “Summertime” (from Porgy and Bess)

4. “I Loves You, Porgy” (from Porgy and Bess)

5. “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin” (from Porgy and Bess)

6. “It Ain't Necessarily So” (from Porgy and Bess)

7. “'S Wonderful” (from the Broadway musical “Funny Face,” also used in MGM film “An American in Paris”)

8. “They Can't Take That Away from Me” (used in the film "Shall We Dance" and nominated for Academy Award)

9. “Our Love is Here to Stay” (from the film “The Goldwyn Follies” and MGM film “An American in Paris”)

10. “I've Got a Crush on You” (used in Broadway shows “Treasure Girl” and “Strike Up the Band”)

11. “I Got Rhythm” (from Broadway show “Girl Crazy”)

12. “Someone To Watch Over Me” (from Broadway show “Oh Kay!”)

13. “Nothing But Love”

14. “Rhapsody in Blue”/Reprise

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