American Music Review salutes spirit of Cole Porter on Oct. 31If spirits really do prowl on Halloween, you’ll find Cole Porter at Purdue's Loeb Playhouse where Purdue’s American Music Review and Concert Jazz Band will present “Cole Porter & Friends.”
The free concert is set for 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, at Loeb Playhouse.
Best known for the Broadway musical comedies he wrote in the 1930s and 40s, Cole Porter created tunes that have been endlessly fascinating to jazz musicians.
“All the jazz guys love Cole Porter. He wrote great melodies,” says William D. Kisinger, director of American Music Review, a big band with vocalists that specializes in swing era music.
Porter’s tunes are musically sophisticated and interesting to listen, Kisinger adds, and filled with chord changes that made them fun for jazz musicians, over the generations, to play.
On tap for American Music Review’s portion of the Oct. 31 concert are Porter’s “Too Darn Hot,” “I Love You,” Begin the Beguine,” “I Love Paris and “You’d Be So Easy to Love.” Several of the tunes are arrangements from the Stan Kenton Library. The Concert Jazz Band will perform Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.”
Although instrumental numbers dominate the tribute to Porter, American Music Review’s four singers will tackle “Too Darn Hot,” a showstopper from the musical Kiss Me Kate. Besides being a great composer, Porter lyrics were known for their cleverness. “He was so clever he could construct double and triple rhymes in one sentence,” Kisinger says. “His lyrics were worldy, unique and interesting but not easy to sing because of their wide range and long phrases.”
Composers whose spirits will inhabit the “friends” chosen to be part of the Halloween event include such notables as Harold Arlen with “Come Rain or Come Shine,” Irving Berlin with “Blue Skies,” Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe with “On the Street Where You Live” and Johnny Mercer with “Autumn Leaves.”
The Concert Jazz Band, under the direction of M.T. “Mo” Trout, adds such tunes as Mack Gordon’s “There Will Never Be Another You,” “The Chicken” by James Ellis” and “Gone With the Wind” by Herb Magidson and Allie Wrubel.
Both ensembles featured in “Cole Porter & Friends” are part of Purdue University Bands. American Music Review’s next performance will be at “Holiday Cheer & All That Jazz” on Dec. 12 in Loeb Playhouse. The Concert Jazz Band can next be heard at a Nov. 21 concert in Loeb Playhouse.