My husband, as well as being a composer, is also an amazing jazz musician. So having been to so many jazz gigs and listened to so many amazing jazz musicians over the years I've always been a bit wary of jazz played on the harp...
But here are 5 very different harp versions of Take Five, commonly attributed to Dave Brubeck, but was of course written by Paul Desmond, the sax player in his group.
All of these harp versions are great, but I have a soft spot for Joy Yu Hoffman's version played on the chinese harp. I really like the middle section of her version, and it just sounds great on the Konghou.
Park Stickney - solo harp
Jakez Francois - harp with piano, drums & bass
Amanda Whiting - solo harp (nice video!)
Polish harpist Małgorzata Zalewska & flugel with orchestra
Sarah Deere-Jones - celtic harp & guitar
Holy cow - a whole new world of neurosis for harpists!
47 + 47 strings，double-row strings with pedals
Height: 222 cm
Width: 110 cm
Weight: 53 kgs
Joy Yu Hoffman performing her arrangement of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" on the Kong Hou (Chinese Harp).
Wow - what an amazing harpist and singer!
Not being really up on the early music scene I hadn't come across her before, but stumbled across a video of her on YouTube.
I've recently bought her album Peiwoh from iTunes and it's been played non-stop since in our house.
Arianna is a fascinating musician, being an acclaimed early music opera singer as well as harpist and has an impressive back catalogue of CDs of early music both as a harpist and separately as singer.
However her latest CDs seem to be of her own compositions played with her band, with Arianna playing triple harp, gothic harp and celtic harps as well as singing. The rest of her band are playing various early and folk string instruments (not sure what they are because of the language on the website!) and also hand percussion.
The result is a very tasteful and sublime world music album which gets the thumbs up from everyone in my household - which is quite a feat as we all have very diverse tastes!
Very difficult to pick a favourite track, possibly Aurora as it's a harp only track. Suite Celtic has a more traditional vibe and shows the musical excellence of all the musicians. A "chill out" track with a very wide appeal is El Llenguatge dels ocells. Although every track on this CD is fantastic.
No UK dates in her concert schedule which is a shame, as I would love to see her live.
Lauren Scott is a harpist & composer and has been blogging on Harpyness for over 10 years.
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