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· TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd been debating checking this tune out lately, and was surprised to find its not been called for the TOTM threads! Simple easy-going melody also called Moritat (even though that is essentially its storytelling genre) was composed by Kurt Weill. There is a lot you can do with this tune, just see the variety of famous versions. The original version, sung by Bertolt Brecht who also wrote the lyrics, definitely has some interesting things going on:

And then you can check out probably the best known version by Bobby Darin:

And of course, all saxophonists should look to the great Colossus!

Looking forward to a great month from everyone here! I've scrounged together a couple backings I enjoyed and the lead sheets for Eb/Bb instruments. (I've found some versions of the backing in Concert C - if you want that version I can post them up as well).
 

· TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
And in true host fashion, I've rushed out a first take. Rough around the edges, but I really wanted to take this tune and get it Swingin'!

https://soundcloud.com/user-805266588%2Fmack-the-knife
I also added this tune to the B&I TOTM index here.

 

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Nice pick Jared and nice first take too. :)

It swings for sure, even while the backing is a bit busy and square at places.
 

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Interesting choice Jared, one of those tunes that sticks in your head for sure.

Nice first run-through that got better as it went along. As Peter mentioned, the backing wasn’t doing you any favours so good job to make something out of it.
 

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I play this tune for many years with the Big Band as a singers-feature (no horn solo's). We once recorded (many years ago) a backing track for our female singer to practice with and I used that backing in August 2018 to make a tenor recording out of. Our arrangement starts for tenor in G and than switches to Ab, A and ends in Bb. I didn't have a good chord scheme, so I remember doing all by ear.

I also found out later (when listening back to the recording that I made in the small studio of a friend that I could use in that time) that it was not recorded with my normal USB mic (which was plugged in), but through the crappy laptop mic. So the tenor sounds really crappy and I did mix it a bit lower in volume compared to the backing to hide that. Still the playing is energetic, even with the crappy old and dead Rico Royal 2 reed I used, so here it is:

Also recorded it for the UK sax forum in March 2017, this time not on my trusted Florida no USA 10* Link, but on a 10mfan Merlot 9 (with a La Voz medium reed). The backing is a bit crappy and not really swinging, which did hold me back a bit. Here it is:
 

· TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
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7,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I play this tune for many years with the Big Band as a singers-feature (no horn solo's). We once recorded (many years ago) a backing track for our female singer to practice with and I used that backing in August 2018 to make a tenor recording out of. Our arrangement starts for tenor in G and than switches to Ab, A and ends in Bb. I didn't have a good chord scheme, so I remember doing all by ear.

I also found out later (when listening back to the recording that I made in the small studio of a friend that I could use in that time) that it was not recorded with my normal USB mic (which was plugged in), but through the crappy laptop mic. So the tenor sounds really crappy and I did mix it a bit lower in volume compared to the backing to hide that. Still the playing is energetic, even with the crappy old and dead Rico Royal 2 reed I used, so here it is:

Also recorded it for the UK sax forum in March 2017, this time not on my trusted Florida no USA 10* Link, but on a 10mfan Merlot 9 (with a La Voz medium reed). The backing is a bit crappy and not really swinging, which did hold me back a bit. Here it is:
Two great takes Peter! Really like the backing of the first, too bad about that mic issue. Your huge sound kills that mic haha. The freedom and exploration in the second was amazing. Love the lick, great stuff!
 

· Finally Distinguished
Tenor, alto, Bb Clarinet, Flute
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Bobby Darren was the classic. Good choice this month, Jared.

Interesting fact: Lotte Lenya was a real person. She was an Austrian-American singer/actress and was married to the writer of the song, Kurt Weill. Apparently her name was added to the list of Mack's victims by Louis Armstrong as she was present in the studio when he first recorded it.


I enjoyed Sonny Rollins' take on the song. Mr. PeeBee's second take was enjoyable. I particularly liked the relaxed slow swing you put on it.
 

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The most excellent, Ruben Blades with a great arrangement. FYI, Siembra is one of those albums that's just perfect and timeless…sounds super fresh, funky, and modern every time.

where is Mack here :) ?, the only common stuff with it I found are modulations :)
 
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This morning, after 3 years, 7 months, 24 days of alto practice (and 55 years of music)

There's a bug again in private soundcloud tracks. copy and and add the 'h' to https in the beginning or copy the link from the 's' in soundcloud to the end and past into browser widow.

ttps://soundcloud.com/randulo/mack-le-couteau/s-cJt1KnRl6dw

Here's what I paste from Soundcloud share: https://soundcloud.com/randulo%2Fmack-le-couteau
 

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This morning, after 3 years, 7 months, 24 days of alto practice (and 55 years of music)
All those years make a huge difference - the music is already fully entrenched, just have to learn the mechanics ... which you have ! Superb !! :love:
 
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· Distinguished SOTW Member
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Just chiming in to post my favorite-ever version of this tune, from one of my favorite-ever albums. Kenny and Mulgrew Miller both obliterate universes over this unassuming jam and it's glorious. I transcribed Mulgrew's solo on piano a couple years ago and it melted my wee brain. Enjoy!

 
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