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George and Ira Gershwin: Slap That Bass

As I deal with the current dystopia I encounter every morning on NPR, I keep thinking about the song “Slap That Bass” by the Gershwin brothers. “Dictators would be better off if they zoom-zoomed now and then,” they write. I couldn’t agree more. “Zoom zoom, zoom zoom, the world is in a mess”—but for a few minutes George and Ira make the world safe again. After all, I need to think straight if I am going to help put things right.

I offer it in three formats:

FRED ASTAIRE, with the original dance break from “Shall We Dance”

ELLA FITZGERALD from her Gershwin Songbook, buttery and smooth, if a bit bland


And a special treat: Susan Stroman’s staging in Crazy for You, taken from the São Paulo production and sung, of course, in Portuguese. American swing-time meets Brazilian pelvises. Just watched it twice…

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