Quick notes (I'm on vacation, people!):
Take Me Home, Country Roads. Learned this one at Grandma/aunt&uncle's house in El Paso, where I stayed over after my parents and aunt picked me up at the El Paso airport. This song was so easy to learn (it's a simple song to begin with, and I grew up on John Denver) that I decided it was high time for some transposition practice. I was about halfway through the 12 keys when Grandma asked the room at large what in the Sam hill I was doing - composing? Reading sheet music? I stopped and explained that I was playing the song in every key. Every major key, she asked? She was my first piano teacher, and her "forcing" me to play I-IV-I-V-I progressions probably contributed to my chronic music theory geekiness. Yes, Grandma, every major key... Then I played it in minor and explained that this was West Virginia after a mining accident.
Take the "A" Train. I could've done a lot more with this one - like transpose and improvise and transcribe - the whole infinity of music study, but I was pretty wiped by the time we finally drove into my hometown at 10 last night. Doing nothing can sure be exhausting, especially when it involves a 6,000 foot elevation change. I practiced it a little more this morning, and transcribed the lyrics from a Sarah Vaughan version (I learned it from a Duke Ellington recording).
A note about Sarah Vaughan's version: I love Sarah Vaughan. This is the first Sarah Vaughan anything I've heard that I don't like. Not sure what album it's from originally because I downloaded it from a compilation. It sounds plenty hip as long as you don't listen to the words, but it's too slow for the lyric to make sense. Hurry, hurry... the quickest way to get to Harlem? I don't know who had control of the tempo, her or the bandleader, but in any case, this particular A train is going local. It's faster to take a cab to Sugar Hill in Harlem. Oh well, we can't all be perfect, and Sarah Vaughan is pretty close.