Song Of The Day 8/24/2016: Jo Basile – “Jalousie"

"Jalousie" was written in 1925 by a Danish man, Jacob Gade, for an American silent movie called Don Q, Son of Zorro. Not only is "Jalousie" one of the most famous tangos of the 20th century, but the possibly biased website TangoCity calls it "the most famous musical piece composed by a Dane in the history of that country." Wikipedia, the indispensable fountain of information about the Nabucco Pipeline and the 1889 Virginia Cavaliers football team, says that "Jalousie" was such a durable hit that it was played once every minute on some radio station somewhere in the world during the 1970s, fifty years after its composition. You'll recognize it pretty quickly if you've spent any measurable time watching previews for French movies at art house theaters that have been squeezed out of business by on-demand. Gabe continued to compose after scoring with "Jalousie," but nobody really remembers him for anything else. The money didn't hurt. Meanwhile in France, Jo Basile stood like a beacon of accordion traditionalism as the Space Age Bachelor Pad scene erected around him, his beret and his cigarette. And if that sounds like a cheap and convenient stereotype, that album cover above doesn't exactly do him any favors, does it? But there's no better way to hear "Jalousie" than in Basile's simple, straightforward, recklessly passionate rendition. Remember to take the thorns out before you put the rose between your teeth. Take my word for it.

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