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Monday July 28, 2014
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Bolcom and Morris

 

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Symphony Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union won big at this year's Grammys, this time Bolcom and Morris will be appearing in KCH's Cabaret Song series. As a composer, Bolcom fuses disparate musical elements into a strongly individual style. But as a longtime collaborator with his wife, Bolcom is cokeeper of the true flame of twentieth-century popular song.

Despite the program's ironic title, popular songs are no more foolish than life and love are foolish. If they stick around long enough, pop songs transcend genre to become part of the musical collective consciousness. Take the song from which Bolcom and Morris took the program's title: nobody can remember hearing it for the first time, but everybody knows the opening line — "A cigarette that bears a lipstick's traces." Or take their next song, "Taking a Chance on Love": nobody remembers the verse, but everybody remembers the chorus. Likewise, few recall who premiered the song "Moanin' Low," but every woman who's ever sung the blues knows how it goes. And, of course, nobody knows who wrote any of them.

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