BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Poinciana” Results

Well, it wasn’t a shutout:

The Four Freshmen: 8

Vulfpeck: 1

Congratulations to The Four Freshmen, and Vulfpeck, if it weren’t for Birgit, you’d have been shut out. (Thanks, Birgit.)

The thing that gets me is I thought this might be a horse race. Shows what I know. You know, I think I’ll schedule another “Poinciana” battle and put The Four Freshmen up against a more worthy opponent. Look for that battle in December.

We’ll have another battle next Monday, featuring a lovely standard sung by two lovely ladies. Stay tuned!


I was listening to Smooth Jazz 24/7 today and they played Bobby Lyle’s cover of “Poinciana.”

It was written by Nat Simon with lyrics by Buddy Bernier in 1936. It’s based on “La Canción del Árbol,” a Cuban song, and has become a standard. One of the better-known covers is by jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, but there are also covers that feature the lyrics, including one by The Manhattan Transfer and the two we’re featuring in today’s battle.

The Four Freshmen The Four Freshmen covered the song in 1952.

Vulfpeck Vulfpeck is a funk band founded in 2011 by four guys at the University of Michigan. They do play instruments, but in their cover they’re accompanied only by bass player Joe Dart. They have a rather unique approach to this song, one that would make Peter Frampton proud.

So, you know the drill: Listen to the two covers, decide which you like better, and vote for it by leaving me a comment telling me which you liked better and why. Then, go over to Stephen’s blog, vote in his battle, then follow the links to the other BotB participants (they’re in the right-hand column with a heading that says “‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ PARTICIPANTS”) and vote in their battles. You don’t have to be a participant to vote in these battles, and all of us would appreciate it a lot if you did. I’ll announce the winner of today’s battle next Monday, October 8, so be sure and get your votes in before then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to The Four Freshmen and Vulfpeck!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile)” Results

This was a tricky battle, I admit: Not only were there two contestants, there was a third choice that included the two of them playing together. To quote Bugs Bunny, “ain’t I a stinker?” Remember the battle: Argentine saxophonist Gato Barbieri, guitarist (Devadip) Carlos Santana (remember when he was going by that name?), and the two of them together playing Santana’s “Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile).” Here are the results:

Gato Barbieri: 4 (Mary, Stephen, Cherdo, Cathy)

Carlos Santana: 3 (Arlee, Mike, Eugenia)

Gato and Carlos: 1 (Birgit)

I could almost call it a tie, but I won’t. Congratulations to Gato Barbieri, and to Carlos Santana, and thanks to all of you for voting.

Our next Battle of the Bands… well, I’m not certain. It might be on October 1 or October 15. I’ll decide as we get closer to the dates. See you then!