S Wonderful news all round as today we turn the page and welcome the solstice in this first official day of winter. As we look forward to the season of change on this the shortest day of the year it’s good to look back on the journey so far. I heard some SWonderful music early this morning that stopped me in my tracks…
S Wonderful Turkey Traditions
As Tesco keeps the home fires burning with their retro Christmas theme, this morning’s contribution featured the seasonal beast – the turkey. As the last weekend before the gargantuas Yuletide feast the supermarket giant knows that every little helps – today it’s in the shape of a giant turkey. The soundtrack ‘S Wonderful’was what caught my attention and took me back… to Ira Gershwin in the soaring ‘20s.
S Wonderful Arrangements
This S Wonderful jazz classic has been round the block so many times since its first recording in 1927. Its appearance in musicals including ‘An American In Paris’ and ‘Funny Face’ feature vocal versions made famous by the likes of Gene Kelly and Ella Fitzgerald and versions as late as 2011 still being recorded.
Using The S Word
The lyrics hold their ‘S’ word affectation throughout the song shortened from ‘it’s’. The music delivers an upbeat swing feel as two lovers (Jack finds his Jill) sing their duet; each phrase repeated by the other:
Bb Bb G-, Bb Bb G-,
‘S wonderful! ‘S marvellous!
Bb Bb G-, Bb C. etc
You should care for me!
‘S awful nice! ‘S paradise!
‘S what I love to see!
Swaths of orchestral strings dominate the romantic mood from the onset with tinges of glockenspiel pings to highlight the magic between the two. Brass and woodwind take over at the middle eight to the scene of dancing by the lake and closure as the couple float off on dubious looking raft both dressed in their wedding attire.
S Wonderful King Of Jazz
Similarly the ‘’Maharaja of the digital piano’’ Oscar Peterson shows his improvisatory prowess in hiss wonderful instrumental arrangements. Complete with flashing lights and bells the score is brimming with twists and turns of the main motif, modulations and interpretations. Peterson takes the tempo to a fast lick with lead guitar featuring alongside his digital piano performance and vying for attention. The middle eight becomes saturated with distortion and it this point it’s difficult to recognise the title track save for the steadily plucked beat of the double bass. Execution of this calibre is S Wonderful to behold.
So as we look forward to the festivities and turn from one king to another – have a
S Wonderful, s marvellous time.