Ross Ariffin’s fingers are always a marvel to look at, if you can see them that is. See if you can catch’em running across 88 keys while they take you down memory lane through some of the most unforgettable jazz greats and movie soundtracks of our time.
Here are a collection of videos recorded at least 8 years ago when he was auditioning for his stint at Holland America cruiselines. The recordings were done here in Malaysia on a then-brand new but now kaput Sony Camcoder. The images and sound are still okay, we hope.
The first vid features Lullaby of Birdland, a 1952 George Shearing/George David Weiss jazz classic whpse title refers to Charlie “Bird” Parker and his Birdland Jazz Club.
The song has been recorded by many famous vocal and instrumental performers, including Ella Fitzgerald, the Blue Stars of France (a Billboard top 20 hit in 1956, sung in French), Lionel Hampton, Chris Connor, Sarah Vaughan, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Amy Winehouse, Japanese R&B singer Double, pianist Friedrich Gulda, Korean singer Insooni, Korean band J Rabbit, Finnish singer Olavi Virta, Vietnamese singer Tung Duong, Spanish singer Andrea Motis and many more.
Here’s Ross playing Lullaby of Birdland and SummerWind
Whilst we’re at it, how about we listen to good ole’ “blue eyes” singing Summer Wind:
And if we didnt get enough, here’s a version – singing Lullaby In Birdland from Ella Fitzgerald and the Duke Ellington Orchestra:
The second song that Ross is playing is Summer Wind- originally released in Germany in 1965 as “Der Sommerwind”. It was written by Heinz Meier in German.
Johnny Mercer then re-wrote the song into English along the same theme. In America, it was first recorded by Wayne Newton and subsequently, by Bobby Vinton and Perry Como.
The song is best known for a 1966 recording by Frank Sinatra which peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No: 1 on the Easy Listening chart. A variety of singers and bands have covered the song since, including Shirley Bassey, Barry Manilow, Westlife and Michael Buble.
Win is the song from Men of Honor (released in the UK and Ireland as Men of Honour). It is a 2000 drama film, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The film was directed by George Tillman, Jr. It is inspired by the true story of Master chief petty officer Carl Brashear, the first African American master diver in the United States Navy.
Here is Ross’s Version of “Win”:
The Way You Look Tonight is a song from the film Swing Time, originally performed by Fred Astaire. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1936. In the movie, the song was sung to Ginger Rogers as Penelope “Penny” Carroll by Astaire in character as John “Lucky” Garnett, while Penny was busy washing her hair in an adjacent room. The song was written by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and has become a standard. Fields later remarked,
“The first time Jerry played that melody for me I went out and started to cry. The release absolutely killed me. I couldn’t stop, it was so beautiful.”
Here’s Ross’s version of The Way You Look Tonight:
And here we have Michael Buble’s version of The Way You Look Tonight:
Last but not least…your Medley of Movie Soundtracks
From the Sound of Music to Titanic, here’s a medley of 6 of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time. See if you recognise them all….The Hills are Alive, Edelweiss from The Sound of Music, Somewhere My Love from Dr Zhivago, On the Street Where You Live fromMy Fair Lady, Through the Eyes of Love from Ice Castles and of course…My Heart will Go On from the Titanic.
Hope you enjoyed all his performances?. Will try to get Ross to do some Rachmaninoff next time!