O metabrain: choose the version of “Fever” I’ll dance my first solo to

November 5, 2012 – 5:20 pm

Okay, noun folks. I’m choreographing my first solo. I might not get to perform it until the spring — or even next fall, depending — but having the guts to get up and do a solo is something I’d like to do. (Bravery exercises! Face ALL the fears!)

I want to do it to the song “Fever” — anyone who does swing or blues should know this song, and anyone who knows the lyrics should now be saying “Mel? You? Solo? To that?” Yep yep. (Face ALL the fears!) Okay, okay, there’s a twist to it that I won’t reveal now but which will make this all make sense once the piece is finished. But it is a pretty, um, sexy-sounding song, and… I’m actually honoring that.)

Now I need to pick a particular cover to dance to, and that’s where you come in, o people with more music knowledge than I.

I am looking for something slow, bluesy, simple — male or female vocalist doesn’t matter, but I want the percussion to be bursty and loud and sudden, especially in phrases like “Fever / <DRUM!> / In the morning” or “Fever / <DRUM!> / I’m a fire”, and I want the accompanying track to be sparse (in my perfect world, it’s just a vocalist, a drummer, and a bassist). And in case it makes a difference, I’m going to have to cut the thing for time, and will almost definitely be nixing the Pocahontas verse.

So far, the best one I’ve found is (I think) this Peggy Lee version — it’s pretty sparse, and I love the swinging female vocals, but it’s a bit faster than I’d like, and the drum is not as prominent as I could wish. (I guess you could mix it to slow the sound down and amplify the drums, but I don’t know how to do that.)

Alternatives: Elvis Presley’s cover is too big-band, and the original Little Willie John doesn’t have the percussion I want. The Ella Fitzgerald cover is lovely but awfully fast. The Rose McGowan cover has a great tempo — if anything, it’s a little too slow! but is only part of the song, and missing the percussion.

Go go go!

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  1. 2 Responses to “O metabrain: choose the version of “Fever” I’ll dance my first solo to”

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjoBKEJj2eI

    (Just kidding. (‘; )

    By Fafner on Nov 5, 2012

  3. I am supportive of this project. I’ve added a few other covers for your perusal:

    The Sarah Vaughan (http://youtu.be/3P_5KO26eKs) is fun to listen to and percussive, but has changed the rhythm to Latin, which doesn’t really work for a slow blues.

    The Meiko (http://youtu.be/1waLSFxOdy4) is bluesy but only percussive in parts.

    There’s a Marlene Arden (http://youtu.be/Uz0_APArpgs) which I think is a good tempo are reasonably drumful.

    The Eva Cassidy (http://youtu.be/R-eyS1uluuY) is properly bluesy, and probably my best suggestion. The percussion is mostly in the treble range, and the accompanying instrumentals are done on fiddle.

    There’s also a really entertaining Muppet Show version with Rita Moreno (http://youtu.be/0yvHWyvexZA), which does have a lot of percussion but not in a way that’s helpful.

    By Bonnie on Nov 5, 2012

What do you think?