BATTLE OF THE BANDS: Подмосковные вечера

… or, if you prefer, "Moscow Nights" or "Midnight In Moscow."

About 20 years ago, I got it in my head that I wanted to listen to world radio, broadcasts over shortwave radio from such broadcasters as the BBC, Deutsche Welle, RTE, RAI, etc. One day, I found Radio Moscow, which, since I couldn’t understand Russian, I verified using Passport To World Band Radio. Had I waited a couple of minutes, their interval signal (kind of like station identification), this beautiful orchestral version of "Moscow Nights," would have done the trick.

Today’s battle will feature three versions of this lovely melody, all in different styles, after which I’ll ask for your favorite.

Contestant #1: Kenny Ball What they call "trad jazz" in the UK.

Contestant #2: The Ventures Surf, of course.

Contestant #3: Lazy Swing Gypsy style.

Those are our three contestants. This is where you come in…

  1. Listen to the three songs.
  2. Decide which song you like the best.
  3. Vote for your favorite by leaving me a comment with your choice. If you feel like telling us why, feel free.
  4. Then, visit the other participants and vote in their Battles:

I’ll tally the votes next Tuesday, June 8 and declare a winner, so have your vote in no later than Monday night.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Kenny Ball, The Ventures, and Lazy Swing!

10 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: Подмосковные вечера

  1. Excellent battle and a tough one at that! After careful consideration, I’m going to vote for Kenny Ball. That was quite a toe tapper for me.

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  2. John,

    Interesting battle! All three renditions are good. Although, I like The Ventures and maybe any other battle I might go with them but in the showdown I preferred the first and third picks the best. I’m not sure why I’m casting my vote for KENNY BALL other than to say his version caught my ear at the right moment.

    When you get a sec, check out my Diamonds Are Forever BOTB Showdown. 🙂 Have a good evening!

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    I really dug all three renditions and it was not at all an easy call for me to settle on a favorite.

    I could have “boted” for any one of these three contestants and been perfectly satisfied with my two cents. But there is a bit toward the end of the KENNY BALL version where the band stretches out a note one-fourth of the way to forever. It adds this elongated tension, just before they glide right back into the melody. And it was THAT little touch that sold me on KENNY’S recording. Plus, I’m just a sucker for the Dixieland sound, anyway.

    A really well done match-up! Keep ’em coming, Buddy!

    ~ D-FensDogG

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  4. This is quite the classic tune. I like all 3 and the Dixieland version is unique but I am going with Midnight In Moscow because I do like the Gypsy flair. My mom had a really nice old German radio she bought in the 1950s and it had shortwave in it. Once my brother and I got Japan and Bolivia!

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  5. I got into the shortwave listening interest when I was in high school over 50 years ago. After all, TV and other media forms were pretty limited back then and I didn’t have that many friends living in close proximity to my house so I spent a lot of time alone in my bedroom. Shortwave was just the thing for me then.

    I well remember this song. My parents had it on some Dixieland jazz album they had, but I can’t recall who did it. It might have been on an album from the Mickey Finn nightclub which was in San Diego when we were living there. I remember listening to that album a lot. Actually they probably had more than one album with this song on it. It was quite a popular tune in the sixties.

    Of these three versions–none of which I recall hearing before–I’m going to go with the take by the Ventures. They were a favorite group of mine back in the day and they put an sputnik style update to the tune. Kind of cool to hear it done that way. I’d say I’ve heard this Ventures version, but it just doesn’t stand out in my memory.

    A vote for The Ventures.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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