Gershwin craz

As 42nd Street starts its run at the a Edinburgh Playhouse, the enterprising American record label Elektra Nonesuch have embarked on an ; ambitious project to restore some ol the earllest- and greatest- masterpieces ol the American musical genre lrom which 42nd Street springs.

Girl Crazy is the first in a series ol the complete works ot George (music) and Ira (lyrics) Gershwin, the lirst great geniuses oi the popular Broadway musical. Amazingly, the new CD and cassette release is the first complete recording at the show which gave the world ‘I Got Rhythm’ (and thereby laid the chord loundations ol literally countlessjazztunes), ‘Embraceable You’ and ‘But Not For Me’.

The recording has a Scottish link as . well, since it is conducted superbly by l

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Scottish Opera’s American conductor John Mauceri, and comes with a handsome booklet explaining the origins of the show and the travails oi re-construction, although the eltect is rather diminished in my copy by the tinal section being printed upside down and backto lrontl

First performed in October 1930, the original show made a star at Ethel Merman, and it remains a line example ol the art oi the popular song in arguably its greatest era. Subsequent perlormers- Sinatra, Fitzgerald, Torme and the rest— elevated these glorious Gershwin songs to heights unattained in the shows themselves, but it is good to have this reminder ot . ., where they came Irom in the lirst place. u Ahh, they don’twrite them like this - anymore. . . (Kenny Mathieson)

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Girl Crazy: George and Ira

Swimming to America

Several months ago, a local pundit lnlormed me that what characterised Scottish music was the nation’s great songwriting tradition. Stephen Lindsay’s aspirations to ‘craltsmanship' tall squarely into that tradition, and as little as tour years ago the charts were littered with other similar ‘heart-on-sleeve‘ Scottish bards.

Although his group The Big Dish have chosen to return at a time when such prolessionalism is hardly in vogue, in i the interim they’ve seen contemporaries Del Amitri slip in the back door at the Top 40 and take up a three-night mini-residency at Barrowland, so it makes sense that their ‘comeback’ gigs should be as support to them. Not that ‘comeback’ is how they view their latest burst ol

~ a hit single. It went trom bad to worse

activity-they’re ‘looking on it as a lresh start.’ a , A lresh start that includes a change in line-up, in record company, but not, it ' would seem, in musical direction. The

new single, ‘Miss America', is a standard Big Dish story-within-a-song, coated thoroughly in layers at melancholy observation and a lair indication to expect more at the same on the lorthcoming album, Satellites. Lindsay sees it as a return to iorm. “‘llliss America” is a bit more like the stutl on The Swimmer, actually. I think we lost our way a bit on the second . album. We were under a lot at pressure ; trom Virgin at that time to come up with .

and the relationship with the record company just died.’

Long-standing guitarist Brian McFle continues. ‘There’s a sound that goes : :- 3, .59.. through the three albums, but the ideas C f 1 'i on the lirst album were much more 3 4 coherent than what was happening on the second, so we wanted to go back to that and polish it up more.’

But they are still conlirmed mlserabillsts, aren’t they? Lindsay otters no delence. “Personally that’s the kind at music i like. I’d rather make . people cry than make them laugh. II we , can do that then I know that we’re doing . ouriob.’ (Fiona Shepherd)

The Big Dish play King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow on Mon 17, and support Del Amitri on all three Barrowland dates.



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AVAILABLE BY POST see Daily Record, & Evening Times a: near Radio Clyde tor details. AVAILABLE IN PERSON trom SATURDAY DEC. 15 (While Stocks last) lrom 9am. The Ticket Centre. Candlerlggs. Glasgow Greater Glasgow Tourist Ioord. 35 St. Vincent Place, Just the Ticket, Vlrgln Records. Union Street. TICKETS ALSO AVAILABLE irom the tollowlng LIBRARIES on SATURDAY DECJS ONLY BAILLIESTON, 141 Main St. CAMBUSLANG, 6 Glasgow Rd. CASTLEMILK, 100 Castlemilk Dr. DRUMCHAPEL. 65 Hecla Ave. EASTERHOUSE. 5 Shandwick St. KNIGHTSWOOD. 27 Dunterlle Ave. POLLOK, 100-106 Peat Road. POSSILPARK, 127 Allandor St. RUTHERGLEN. 163 Main St. SPRINGBURN, 179 Ayr St. -;:_.-..,...'.-.}.;.V. Libraries open 9.300m. .

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The List 7 20 December 199037