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(Underlined Song Titles are linked to a 30-second snippet in the MP3 format.)
Fingal's Cave: Mendelsson was a lover of drama
and the mystery which music alone can convey. Too bad he wasn't born in the
generation of the movies. He'd make a wonderful composer for screen themes.
Anchors Aweigh: Big in melodic interplay with a dixieland finale.
This march arrangement is totally unlike any other version you have heard.
Listen for "Sailor's Hornpipe" and "Columbia, Gem of the Ocean" played synchronously
together. It's perfect.
Blue Moon: A sweet ballad done in SOFI style. Makes one want
to get onto a dance floor.
Barney Google: Remember Barney's wife? She's in here. You'll
also hear Spark Plug the horse and remember his big race. Hilarious.
Danse Macabre: Sketched from the Duo-Art e-roll from Spencer
Chase, this beautiful arrangement is played on SOFI after almost every note
has been changed in length and percussion added. SOFI loves the classics.
You can tell.
A Fine Romance: "The Way You Look Tonight" begins this Astaire-Rodgers
dance medley arrangement by Ampico. It's an awesomely rhythmic dance number
that sweeps you off your feet.
I Ain't Got Nobody: A Classic Tune, tastefully arranged in
a way that only SOFI can explain all by herself. She is, afterall, One-of-a-Kind,
and perhaps she's a bit lonely.
Indian Love Call: "Tom-toms" begin the arrangement which bursts
with gorgeous chords. Listen for a second tremolo in the lower accompaniment
ranks, and the Hamms Beer theme during the interlude-- which was borrowed
from this popular piece to begin with.
Ol Man River: Not "Deep River," but the swing version for dancing.
Solo xylophone riffs, lots of dynamic interplay and contrasts. Don't overlook
the depth of this piece.
Rose Colored Glasses: I was finishing this arrangement Sept
11th. Ironic that I was seeing red. But despite its timing, and true
to its title, you'll find it colorful and happy to listen to.
S'Wonderful: An exciting arrangement that combines all the
arranging tricks. Another favorite.
They Can't Take That Away From Me: Rhythm, plus! You 'll like
the expressive piano and wide expanses of solo colors and embellishments
in this creative arrangement that sweeps across the melody palette like waves.
Anything Goes: A tough tune to arrange and
make interesting instrumentally because of such a short melody line, but
SOFI loves challenges. Listen to all the reminiscence this tune comes out
Embraceable You: George Gershwin and SOFI talk to each other
in this one. She was made for this genius. Rich chords and counter excursions
make this number such a winner.
Avalon: Scat jazz, originally arranged by J. Lawrence Cook.
Some blazing, quick upbeat percussion is nice to have when you really need
I Got Rhythm: Was there any question? That's SOFI's forte!
But in this number, she lets the melody phrasing itself state the intent
and direction, and the percussion is understated. Jazzy!
Die Loreli: Liszt. Listen closely and you will hear "Brahm's
Lullaby" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." This was Liszt's idea, but SOFI decided
to make it a bit more obvious. Dramatic, and fun.
Who: Why? Because it's such a great number, that's Who. Lots
of fun. Ask the musical question yourself, and you'll have the answer. When?
Now! Check out the temple block and cow-bell combination.
Brother Can You Spare A Dime: An expressive depression song,
capturing the true essence of American jazz in a minor key
Harry James Medley: Great dance numbers from the 40's. Ciri
Biri Bin waltz is arranged like a band organ number. Lots of fun. Hard to
keep your feet still.
Carioca: A hot Latin number with such authentic percussion
and an intoxicating fiery beat!
Build A Stairway To Paradise: Gershwin at his fun-loving best.
He also takes a number of piano breaks in this arrangement. "Well, I think
3 Oclock in the Morning: Couldn't resist this waltz with chimes,
and a floating, dancing counter-melody that makes you feel like you're standing
Easy To Remember: An easygoing, swinging tune that incorporates
Boola Boola in the counter melody, which borrows from "Listen to the Mockingbird."
Who's Sorry Now
Who's Sorry Now?: Hopefully, not you. Change-ups
in rhythm and interesting breaks that capture the imagination. You'll want
to hear it again.
You Are My Lucky Star: Fred Astaire might consider us lucky
to get the ranks of pipes switched in and out and changed so quickly between
quarter notes, but actually SOFI makes it easy to do.
Riff Song: From the Desert Song musical. The Red Shadow and
his band gathers further mystery about him with songs like this from Romberg.
You'll like the sinister counters in this arrangement.
San: Sans orientale. The flapper era's fascination with the
orient brought forth these fun fox trots. This one begs a quick interplay
with light arpeggios, punctuated with a quick xylophone and wood block.
Just what you would hope for, all the way through.
Love Send A Gift of Roses: SOFI has a way with love songs, and like roses, her gift is beautiful music.
Save Your Sorrow: Back to Hollywood and the show-biz capital
of the world. Little Shirley Temple's knockout song comes alive on SOFI.
Somebody Loves Me: Gershwin definitely got this right. SOFI
loves Gershwin. The ornamentation seems to float above the melodic landscape
and swooshes the listener off, on a magic carpet ride.
Limehouse Blues: Chinatown and their gong. Such oriental flavor
you can still smell the opium. An interesting interplay of rhythm and sub-melody
has an hypnotic effect.
When I Grow Too Old To Dream: A waltz that keeps changing key.
The melody is often taken by the low accompaniment pipes. A good one to feel
the power of SOFI when in person.
I'm A Dreamer: A beautiful ballad rich in nice chords, written
with a key change in its melody. A fascinating piece, original in melodic
I Only Have Eyes For You: Enormously lyrical, this melody is
slow and sensual. Something you will not forget.
Fusteratin Blues: Chiefly arranged by George Bogatko, then
re- arranged for SOFI's tastes. One of those gut bucket blues that SOFI
can get down with and cry with the best of 'em. (I think it's really named
'Frustratin', but I heard it one time called Fusteratin', and like that
better. That's real cool!)
That Certain Feeling
That Certain Feeling: One of my favorites.
Exactly what SOFI was made for. Expressive, quick percussion, effortless.
This song really sails. Full of color and change-ups.
Thou Swell: How long has it been since you heard this one?
Probably just a few minutes ago. Complex interplay of articulated chords
and sub-harmony adds such intoxication to this arrangement, it always gets
Alabamy Bound: Naturally, SOFI's train whistle and bell get's
right into the act in this one. She loves novelty and sound effects, too.
Carolina In The Morning: A solid and richly chordal accompaniment
with surprises, like "Nola" singing along with the theme. This tune is turned
into a holiday morning.
Cheek To Cheek: Debussy invented the "whole tone scale," and
this arrangement borrows its dulcency to create a relaxing and sweetly explicit
picture of dancing cheek to cheek.
I Only Have Eyes For You: A lovely number that just begs to
be danced to. It has an upbeat rhythm with sparkling but subtle ornamentation.
Charleston Medley: The roaring 20's roar back to life. Lots
of change-ups and surprises in this. Lasts just long enough to get back
into the dance step again. Now, start it over.
Birth of the Blues: This real hit's basis came from an Ampico
roll. It skillfully incorporates Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and really
knocks it out.
Listening In On Some Radio: An obscure tune, but talk about
key changes, surprises, and effects you weren't expecting-- just like a
radio. Never know what's coming next.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: They asked me how I knew. I told them
it was on a roll. SOFI just loved it, so we included it. She likes the complex
chordal arrangements and progressions.
Varsity Drag: A really great, jazzy Charleston dance arrangement
which also requires very quick register changes, while you are whisked back
Me Too: This cute number is a Charleston, but has such great
melody phrasing it lends perfectly to SOFI's enormous expression capability
that modulates the rhythm so powerfully.
SOFI Strikes Up The Band
Chattanooga Choo Choo: This uses the manual
toy counter included in SOFI, with the train whistle and the bell, making
this tune even more fun to hear.
After The Storm: Dramatic tune who's idea was taken from an
old QRS roll. Yes, there's a real storm included.
Codfish Ball: Shirley Temple's playful song that became instantly
connected with this saucy little girl and her long, blond curls.
Putting On the Ritz: This spiffy Al Jolsen Charleston number
is defined by SOFI, who catches its uptown spirit and its oriental flapper
Benny Goodman Medley: The big band sound at its zenith. A tasteful,
smack-on arrangement, mainly by J. Lawrence Cook.
You're The Cream in My Coffee: George White's Scandals introduced
this tune with Rudy Vallee and beautiful chorus girls, one to whom I promised
a recording. Very expressive.
I Want To Be Happy: Obviously, it's working. This number is
playful and full of musical color. A true delight.
Strike Up The band: SOFI would make Irving Berlin proud. This
tune is a natural for her, with percussion that must be heard to be believed.
Dark Eyes: A well-mannered tango that is just tantalizing.
Tea For Two: Like lots of key changes? You've got it in a difficult
but natural progression of moves that even Joseph Hoffmann would relish.
Yes, We Have No Bananas: Precise, quick wood block rhythm and
a musical romp with creative percussive riffs. Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus"
plus "Bring Back My Bonnie To Me" form the theme of "Bananas." The only thing
they didn't borrow was the bananas. Good tune!
Aunt Hagar's Blues: Really a swingin' down and dirty blues
that sounds very much like south side Chicago jazz.