Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing no games.
- Posted on Aug 16th 2010 3:30PM by Brian Wilson
I was 2 years old when I experienced the first taste of Gershwin magic. My mother was playing 'Rhapsody in Blue' -- the Leonard Bernstein version -- and all I could think was how it was the most beautiful thing in the world. Even though I was only a kid, I can still remember listening to it and telling my mom that I wanted to hear it again and again. To me, the 'Rhapsody in Blue Reprise' represents my knowledge of Gershwin's harmony, and I think that it is George Gershwin's great harmonic achievement.
The Gershwin brothers, George and Ira, were true geniuses who have inspired many great legends. They invented the popular song and had a gift for melody that I believe nobody has ever equaled. Their music is synonymous with a broad spectrum of musical genres, but what I admire most is that they were constantly challenging themselves in different musical styles -- something that I find myself doing, as well.
The process was thrilling as I added my own interpretation and feel to Gershwin classics. In addition, I was asked to look over 114 unfinished songs that George Gershwin himself wrote and I narrowed it down to two songs, which are the two original songs on the album. I sat at the piano for days just taking the Gershwin melodies and giving them my twist while staying true to that classic American sound from the '30s. It was quite a process, but in the end the idea that I collaborated with the great Gershwin brothers was an experience unlike any other.
This was the most heartfelt project I have done, and I am extremely proud of what came to fruition. When the album was finished, I listened to the whole thing from beginning to end a few times and thought, "I did justice to the Gershwin brothers' music and songs. " I knew that I treated each song in a unique manner as each one has a different personality, a different texture, a different rhythm and a different sound.
I've had many people ask me what I want people to come away with from this album, and all I want is for each person who listens to the album to acquire an unfaltering appreciation for the music. People should listen to this album wholeheartedly, and most important, feel the spirit of the music the way I do. This is the most spiritual project I've ever worked on as I felt deeply connected with the Gershwin brothers, and I believe that if you let the music sweep you off your feet, you, too, can feel the beauty, passion and extraordinary gift that the Gershwin brothers left us with. I hope that with this album, future generations continue to be touched and inspired in the same manner that I have been influenced.