Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Modern Jazz Quartet - Softly as the Morning Dawn

One of the local stations starts their morning program off with this song. I like it ‘cause of the vibraphones

Pretty impressive sound for a high school jazz band, isn’t it?

One of the best known renditions is by the Modern Jazz Quartet and star vibraphonist Milt Jackson. Know the difference between a vibraphone and a xylophone? The vibraphone has aluminum bars – and the xylophone has wooden ones. The vibraphone is mostly a jazz percussive instrument – and was first developed in 1921 – then modified into the instrument we know in 1928.

Here’s Billy Taylor and John Lewis (two jazz piano greats) … their sound is crisp and clean, but I think this version is too slow – and I really miss the percussive addition of the vibraphone.

This young woman does a great job with the vocals – and looks like she’s having fun at the same time.

Here are the vocals. Oscar Hammerstein II wrote these. Can you tell they were written in the 20s? Funny how word usage changes. No one would write about anything being “gay and tender” today.

Love came to me

Gay and tender

Love came to me

Sweet surrender

Love came to me

In bright romantic splendor

Fickle was she

Faithful never

Fickle was she

And clever

So will it be – forever – forever

Softly, as in a morning sunrise

The light of love comes stealing

Into a new born day -- oh

Flaming with all the glow of sunrise

A burning kiss is sealing

The vow that all betray

For the passions that thrill love

And lift you high to heaven

Are the passions that kill love

And let you fall to hell

So ends the story

Softly, as in an evening sunset

The light that gave you glory

Will take it all away

Panic about Thursday and Friday is slowly setting in. Of course, I will have people helping me cook (mostly it’s chopping and dicing) …but still dinner for 80 is a challenge. People are paying $10 for this meal – so it needs to be good – yet I have to stay within the budget.

One of the menu items calls for skirt/flank steak. This use to be a “butchers cut” (ie: no one know what it was, nor how to cook it properly so it was cheap) but with the advent of Fajitas, this is no longer the case. Ultimately this meat will be shredded – so I’m think about subbing a chuck roast. It will cook longer – almost a braising method, but it should shred and be tender and flavorful – and that’s the real goal.

The pork dish calls for country-style spareribs (boneless) – but I am second guessing two shredded meat items on the plate. It will be served with a mole sauce – so there’s a strong possibility I’m going to use pork tenderloin instead. I can put two slices of pork on each plate – then sauce with the mole.

Well - I've totally lucked out and was able to place an order with the local food service company. There are still a few things I need to pick up - things that are in quantities too small for them to provide. I think I can order most of those from an on-line grocery store and pick them up tomorrow after work!

Except for the dried and fresh chiles. I'll have to go to my local Tienda to get those.

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