Cole Porter on An Oslo Rooftop

Cole Porter’s spirit lives!

Angelina Jordan is one of my favorite singers. In this clip from 2016, she’s ten years old. As you can hear, she has perfect pitch; after listening to everything she’s published, for clarity and interpretation, there is still nothing that reaches this level of delivery. Her guitarist here ‘gets’ her music and complements it wonderfully. I always look forward to what she does with his backing.

Ms Jordan was born in Norway and at least one of her parents is of Iranian extraction…other than that I don’t know much about her, except that she moved to Los Angeles, plus that she performs in her bare feet. Oh, and that she was in Norway recently to sing with the state band…not so good. Nothing like the previous summer’s work with a back-up band at festivals, what with her long underwear peeking out, and those cools licks from the brass in the background…hunky Norwegian guys.

While she was still too young to do “Porgy and Bess” well in 2016, no doubt her voice has matured by now and will continue to do so. Gershwin was urbane, even when he wasn’t trying.

15 thoughts on “Cole Porter on An Oslo Rooftop

  1. Phenomenal for a 10 year old. I hope she gets the training she needs to rise to the challenge of a more demanding repertoire, assuming that’s the way she wants to go.

    Listening to Angelina, a memory of the supremely talented Charlotte Church, who so abused her instrument, unsettles me.

    • She’s been singing since she was 18 months old…and has discipline, plus two parents. I ran across a video that showed Dad was Norwegian. I forget the last name, something like Astar?

      Of course she still has to navigate the white water of adolescence, but she may do well if her parents are all right.

  2. At 0:41 she sings, “why the goods above me, who must be in the know, think so little of me”. What accounts for this pronunciation where “gods” would seem more appropriate?

    For a slightly different genre, get a load of this Amish-Hasidic “country klezmer” music:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9FzVhw8_bY

    (What’s that tower in the background at 2:30? In Seattle? In Toronto? Yeah, Toronto: see the maple leaf on the pizza sign at 2:19)
    These lyrics will require a lot of analysis.

    Dead Love couldn’t go no further
    Proud of and disgusted by her
    Push shove, a little bruised and battered
    Oh Lord I ain’t coming home with you

    My life’s a bit more colder
    Dead wife is what I told her
    Brass knife sinks into my shoulder
    Oh babe don’t know what I’m gonna do

    I see my red head, messed bed, tear shed, queen bee
    My squeeze
    The stage it smells, tells, hell’s bells, miss-spells
    Knocks me on my knees
    It didn’t hurt, flirt, blood squirt, stuffed shirt
    Hang me on a tree
    After I count down, three rounds, in hell I’ll be in good company

    Dead Love couldn’t go no further
    Proud of and disgusted by her
    Push shove, a little bruised and battered
    Oh Lord I ain’t coming home with you

    My life’s a bit more colder
    Dead wife is what I told her
    Brass knife sinks into my shoulder
    Oh babe don’t know what I’m gonna do

    I see my red head, messed bed, tear shed, queen bee
    My squeeze
    The stage it smells, tells, hell’s bells, misspells
    Knocks me on my knees
    It didn’t hurt, flirt, blood squirt, stuffed shirt
    Hang me on a tree
    After I count down, three rounds, in hell I’ll be in good company

    In hell I’ll be in Good Company

    • I’ll skip the ugly lyrics.

      She’s saying “gods” with a Norwegian accent. She’s ten years old, Mr. Persnikety; give her a break. I mean, how good is your Norwegian, dude??

      • I see no other evidence that her spoken English is anything less than native-speaker perfect, so the pronunciation of “gods” as “goods” must have been deliberate. I’m wondering why this decision was made. If it really was a mistake (mistyping of the lyrics?), she is being ill treated by her handlers who know better.

        This is analogous to the case of Arthur Godfrey, a big-time radio and television host, who was hired to do commercials for a fluoride-containing toothpaste. He mispronounced the chemical as “fluoroid”, and none of the producer flunkies corrected the Great Man’s pronunciation; his mispronunciation went to air, to his embarrassment. Here is one of those commercials:
        https://archive.org/details/Colgate1969

        • It is the task of a serious vocalist to master the intonation of a foreign language. If, at age ten, Angelina hasn’t quite mastered English intonation, well perhaps that could be overlooked?

          • I intend to keep overlooking it in favor of listening to her. Her renditions of Gershwin at the age of eleven were less successful, but she’ll get there as her own emotional understanding matures. She recently sang a moving piece for her grandfather, who died shortly before that performance.

            This girl has gravitas, focus, and grit. Plus a supportive family. She’ll do well. I look forward to more of the old standards reinterpreted by a singer with genuine talent.

    • LOVE THIS SONG!!! Love those masculine voices, the music and the choreography! Thanks for sharing Mark Spahn. You made my day! When I watch and listen to this video I feel that all is right with the world. So just for today (at least) I won’t bang my head against the wall while reading about the Spaniards and the muslims and Macron and the feminists in governments etc. etc. The heck with them all.

    • That’s how the composer sang it…and how most Americans say it, though it may be different where you are. She is learning to sing American lyrics.

      Here in the American South two syllables are often used for that word, so that it can sound like ‘lid-dul’, just as the word “yes” is sounded out as ‘Yea-Yus’ (emphasis on 2nd syllable).

      In sum, this girl will continue singing “die a liddle” and everyone here will think she sounds normal.

      Advice: don’t listen to old American standards or you’ll continue to be offended.

    • To echo what Dymphna says, the end-of-syllable “t” (as in “little” or “the fit’ll be better if the seamstress makes a few adjustments”) is different from the start-of-syllable “t” (as in “tip”). The end-of-syllable “t” is similar to, but audibly different from, the end-of-syllable “d”: compare “fit’ll” and “fiddle”).

      A fuller discussion would refer to the concept of an
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allophone

      “Because the choice among allophones is seldom under conscious control, few people realize their existence. English-speakers may be unaware of the differences among six allophones of the phoneme /t/: unreleased [ t̚] as in cat, aspirated [tʰ] as in top, glottalized [ʔ] as in button, flapped [ɾ] as in American English water, nasalized flapped as in winter, and none of the above [t] as in stop. However, they may become aware of the differences if, for example, they contrast the pronunciations of the following words:

      Night rate: unreleased [ˈnʌɪt̚.ɹʷeɪt̚] (without a word space between . and ɹ)
      Nitrate: aspirated [ˈnaɪ.tʰɹ̥eɪt̚] or retracted [ˈnaɪ.tʃɹʷeɪt̚]

      A flame that is held before the lips while those words are spoken flickers more for the aspirated nitrate than for the unaspirated night rate. The difference can also be felt by holding the hand in front of the lips. For a Mandarin-speaker, for whom /t/ and /tʰ/ are separate phonemes, the English distinction is much more obvious than for an English-speaker, who has learned since childhood to ignore the distinction.”

    • I liked Brenda Lee’s voice, too. But this one started at 18 months old, on her own – watching YouTube bec her mum found it kept her happy. She wanted the old stuff – Ella Fitzgerald, etc.

      Too bad Brenda Lee wasn’t tutored in the old standards. She’d probably have lasted a lot longer. Definitely had the range to make her voice an intriguing instrument.

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