Aretha Franklin R.I.P.

Aretha Louise Franklin, March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018.


Sunday Music & Gaudete

First, we present Steeleye Span, the great folk rock band that often gets mixed up with Steely Dan, from their 35th anniversary tour (2004).


Gaudete, Gaudete, Christus est natus
Ex Maria Virgine, Gaudete!

Rejoice, Rejoice, Christ is born
of the Virgin Mary, Rejoice!

I assume that lead vocalist is still Maddy Prior. I used to have a bit of a crush on her. Anyway, this is their original recording of “Gaudete” from Chrysalis (1972).

Tempus adest gratiae
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina laetitiae
Devote reddamus.

The hour of grace which we seek is here.
We offer with devotion our songs of gladness.

Next, the hymn is sung by Choir on the Stairs. I got the feeling I’m going to be revisiting this group for Sunday selections. Great accoustics to match great singing:

Deus homo factus est,
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est,
A Christo regnante.

God is made man, a thing of wonder.
The world is renewed by Christ’s reign.

Next up, the kids choir Libera sings it:

Ezecheelis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Undelux est orta
Salus invenitur.

Light has arisen. Salvation is come,
Bursting the gates of death.

And finally, we bring you the Mediaeval Baebes:

Ergo nostra contio
Psallat jam in lustro,
Benedicat domino,
Salus Regi nostro.

Our congregation lustily rejoices now,
Giving blessing to God, our Saviour and King.

Winter Song & Dreams Come True

A bit of a repeat to honor the season and put a little winter romance in the air. “Winter Song” by Dreams Come True, from the album Seventh of July Sunny Day (1996). Miwa Yoshida (lead vocals), Masato Nakamura (bass), and Takahiro Nishikawa (keyboards). This vid can only be watched at the Kingdom of T’Oob, but the other versions that follow below work as embeds.

English version

Japanese version, live

Zappa & The Purple Lagoon

Frank Zappa, “The Purple Lagoon,” first released in Zappa in New York (1977), then re-released in the same album (1978), and finally appearing in the posthumous album Läther (1996).

Frank Zappa (lead guitar), Ray White (rhythm guitar), Patrick O’Hearn (bass), Terry Bozzio (drums), Ruth Underwood (percussion), David Samuels (timpani, vibes), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Michael Brecker (tenor sax, flute), Lou Marini (alto sax, flute), Ronnie Cuber (baritone sax, clarinet), Tom Malone (trombone, trumpet, piccolo), Don Pardo of SNL fame (“sophisticated narration”–I guess that means the bit at the end). Frankly (pun unintended!) I’m baffled by who is playing what instruments and not sure I got the personnel right here. Also, apparently there is overdubbing with vocals somewhere, which may be Ruth Underwood. But however you parcel it out, it’s a monster ensemble. Exit question, often applicable with Zappa’s prodigy bands: Do the solos go on too long?

O Theotokos Ever Vigilant in Prayer & Rachmaninov & Sunday Music

USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir, directed by Valeri Polyansky.

Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos,
Who is ever-vigilant in prayer
and our firm hope in her intercessions.
For being the Mother of Life,
She was transmigrated to life
by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.