Since Independence Day is just around the corner, I wanted to post something that was truly American and by a "truly American" composer. Charles Ives was the first to come to mind. Ives isn't one you'd think of as "truly American" in the way that he was some sort of "patriot." Ives was "simply American" and the impressions and experiences from late 19th and early 20th century America are evident in many of his compositions.
This composition is an arrangement of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" which served as one of our country's "national anthems" until the "Star Spangled Banner" was officially designated the anthem in 1931. The description on the YouTube video shares this composition's story well: "In 1948, E. Power Biggs contacted Ives inquiring if he had composed any organ music that Biggs might perform on his weekly radio program. After Biggs helped Ives recover this long-forgotten piece, he performed it on his July 4th broadcast that year, and the work was finally published in 1949."
This month's feature has been the great song "Turquoise" performed by Erroll Garner. There is no one better to explain a jazz style than Dick Hyman. Enjoy this lesson on the Erroll Garner style.