Today we took a bunch of seven year-olds to a birthday party at the zoo, because we are totally insane. It actually went very well, especially as it was done after regular zoo hours in a special zoo program that involved dinner and meeting some animals up close. We all got to pet a chincilla, a pygmy hedgehog (very cute!), a ferret, and a nine-banded armadillo named Leonard. This list is for you, guys.
1. " Zooropa," by U2, from Zooropa. Message: commercialism is ridiculous. Interesting layering effects.
2. "Visit the Zoo and Letters from Hogwarts," by John Williams, from the Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone soundtrack. This is when Harry performs his first magic, making the glass disappear from the snake's cage and then talking to the snake. Thus we get lots of magical sounding motives, a little scary but mostly in amazement. Then we cue in the celeste for the Letters segment. Lots of swirly strings for the owls delivering more and more letters.
3. "Old Yazoo," Fats Waller/Andy Razaf, performed by the Bowell Sisters. I love this old recording. "If you don't like beans and rice, get some rice and beans."
4. "A Little Duet for Zoot and Chet," Jack Montrose, performed by Chet Baker on Chet Baker With Strings. Naturally, this is also with Zoot Sims, a nice bit of counterpoint with minimal cheesy strings compared to the rest of this album. Chet's solo sounds much like Clifford Brown, though with a simpler timbre that is more consistent through all the register.
5. Animal Ditties, by Anthony Plog, performed by the Summit Brass. This eight movement work was originally for trumpet, narrator, and piano. Plog arranged it for brass choir with the narrator reciting the poems by Ogden Nash. Turtle, Porpoise, Python, Dog, Ant, Centipede, Rhinoceros, and Mule.