I’ve long had a love affair with the music of Bobby McFerrin. It started when I first heard him on a late night public radio show and has continued to this day. Back then I was lucky enough to know someone who worked at the nearest public radio affiliate, KUNI, and they were able to make a cassette tape of his music for me. A year later, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” was all over the radio and McFerrin found short-lived mainstream success. After I graduated, Spontaneous Inventions and Bobby McFerrin were among the first compact discs that I purchased. I would later add the obligatory Simple Pleasures as well as his superb collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma, Hush. After that, he seemed to veer away from the amazing work he had done as a solo performer in favor of bigger collaborations which didn’t interest me. Today Reddit linked to a video of him performing “Drive” from Spontaneous Inventions and it renewed my interest in him.
Through the magic of YouTube’s “related content” feature, I present you with a few tremendous Bobby McFerrin musical moments:
- “Thinkin’ About Your Body” from his Spontaneous Inventions television special: a good example of what he can do all by himself
- “Round Midnight”: Even if jazz is not your thing, appreciate the way he is able to simulate the sound of a muted trumpet with his voice.
- “Pink Panther Theme”: Although there’s no video, his rendition of the the old favorite is still worthwhile.
- “The Condensed Wizard of Oz”: My KUNI friend put this on a tape for me but somebody stole it from me. It’s not available in official release but should be.
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