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Monday, December 17, 2012

#6: The Mt. Rushmore Series

Which four musicians would be on your Mt. Rushmore? I've been postponing this entry in the series since  starting it; selecting just four is very hard for me. So, I'm hedging my bets by picking from  four different genres and also saving the Mt. Rushmore of bands for another time - that's just as hard.

1. Miles Davis: He was not a nice human being and his latter day output was uneven. But Miles covered so much terrain in his long career. If you own only one jazz recording it must be "Kind of Blue".

2. Paul Simon: I wouldn't argue with those who say Dylan is more influential, but would assert Simon is a superior musician, composer and singer. He's also grown more as a lyricist and been far more consistent.

3. Jeff Beck: I know Clapton & Jimi also sing & compose. Jimmy Page is probably faster. Then there's Carlos, Stevie Ray, etc. What can I say? This is my Mt. Rushmore - you'll have your chance. Jeff is more than a rock or blues or fusion guitarist; he's an artist who paints with an instrument.

4. Gladys Knight:  This was my hardest choice. Had I heard Aretha tearing up "Chain of Fools" or Natalie Cole belting "This Will Be" within the last 24 hours, my R&B Mt. Rushmore choice might have been different. But instead I heard Gladys wailing "Neither One of Us" and written in stone it was.

Thought about engraving Wolfgang Amadeus here. But I've spent a lot more hours of my life listening to the four giants above than I have to him so why the pretense?             

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