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A few days ago I mentioned one of my favorite test pieces for evaluating equipment is an obscure track of Gershwin's Summertime. It features a single bowed double bass and a female vocalist. It is really well recorded and a great piece of music. This mystery piece has eluded all of as to its origins. Thanks to my friend Mark, who used a free mobile app called Shazam, we were able to identify this mystery artist as Susannah McCorkle from the album Someone to watch over me. What's cool about this app is you simply turn it on and it "listens" to any music playing, then reports back to you what the track was and what album it came from. They also provide a link to purchase the CD, which I immediately did. I had played with this app a few years ago and found it an interesting novelty, but ultimately useless. I deleted it from my phone. But now that I wind up in people's demo rooms a lot, wondering what they're playing when it's really good, this free app proves itself invaluable. It is certainly more than worth its price.
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Paul McGowan

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