Today’s cycling expedition through eastern Washington’s Naches Valley took me where orchard country and cattle country merge for a few miles. Waving above a prosperous looking ranch house was this enormous American flag.
A mile or so up the road, another rancher was not to be outdone.
The flags reminded me of two versions of “America The Beautiful” that I did not include in the 4th of July Rifftides post. There are several videos of the song by Ray Charles. This one with the Raelettes is seen less often than most. He perfected a routine for this piece, but within the pattern every performance was an original, because it was by Ray Charles.
The other “America The Beautiful” is by a trombonist we lost in 2003. Carl Fontana was held in awe by colleagues and aficionados. He deserved wider fame for his musicality, swing, astonishing control of his instrument and the humor in his work.
Carl Fontana, trombone; Al Cohn, tenor Saxophone; Richard Wyands, piano; Ray Drummond, bass; Akira Tana, drums, from Uptown Records’ The Great Fontana. For an extended live version of “America The Beautiful” by Fontana, go here. The audio quality is a bit compressed, but you can hear everyone. Your close attention will be rewarded.