March 17, 2010

Wonder's Salute to Great Musicians Upbeat, Yet Sad, Review, Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

Sir DukeWonder's Salute to Great Musicians Upbeat, Yet Sad

I understand Rick Blaine. He knows which song he never wants to hear again. But there he is, in his cafe, sheltering his drink and his sorrow, asking Sam to bring him where he doesn't want to go. Longish moments surround him as he dreams of Ilsa, as he listens once again to "As Time Goes By."

I have never been to Paris during wartime. And her name wasn't Ilsa. The song? Must it be this one? Must it be "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder? When I hear it, she is farther from me, yet closer than she has been in years. But it is their song now. What we sang with abandon that day in December is now the one they hum.

Wonder's praise to great musicians who came before him should remain upbeat. Everyone else can sing along with a dance in their hearts. Stevie Wonder is a master honoring masters Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. This song is right.

The bass line, lyrics and keyboard are all in sync with Wonder's playfulness. It is a happy, effervescent song worth singing along to. I often do.

Few things are as sour as knowing it is their song, too. May it always be only yours.


As Time Goes (Ilsa hums, Sam plays, Rick comes in) from Casablanca

Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder