In honor of the annual “March Madness” NCAA College Basketball Tournament, here are some “march” titles available within The Seattle Public Library’s collection of which you can march (ugh…) down to your local branch and check out.
The top overall seed in this tournament bracket is none other than the “King of the March”, John Philip Sousa and the collection of Sousa’s Greatest Marches. After a brief look at this album’s roster of tracks it becomes plain to see why the tournament’s highest ranking is deservedly bestowed upon this release. Included in this monster two-disc collection are patriotic numbers such as “Stars and Stripes Forever”, “Hail to the Spirit of Liberty” and “Riders for the Flag” as well as many others which have withstood the test of time as classic marches.
When compiling my bracket, I was faced with the challenge of finding an album that would pose a suitable match-up against the number one seed. After much thought and careful consideration, The United States Marine Band’s Not Sousa received the unenviable task of playing David to J.P. Sousa’s Goliath. Billed as “Great Marches not by Sousa,” the U.S.M.B. seems more than up to the challenge at hand with well-known compositions such as Julius Fucik’s “Entry of the Gladiators, (Thunder & Blazes)” and Henry Fillmore’s “Rolling Thunder” leading the way for a possible Cinderella-esque run through the field of competitors.
The recipient of the number two seed in the bracket is Beirut’s March of the Zapotec and Realpeople Holland, a two-disc compilation featuring material occupying completely opposite ends of the music spectrum. The first disc recorded in Oaxaca, Mexico with a 19-piece band and skews more toward traditional Mexican folk music whereas the second disc is comprised mainly of electronic tracks analogous to groups like The Postal Service or Owl City.
Local heroes Blue Scholars were awarded the number three seed based on the strength of their 2005 release The Long March EP. While not a collection of marches, the title track from this hip-hop album kicks off with MC Geologic directing listeners to march “Left, Right, Left…” On cuts like “Southside Revival” and “Proletariat Blues”, DJ Sabzi uniquely blends a multitude of R&B, Funk and Soul samples providing a smooth foundation of beats for Geologic to rap over.
So there you have it folks, the bracket is set for the 2013 Musical March Madness tournament. Best of luck to all of this year’s competitors and happy listening to all you library patrons out there! Feel free to add a comment if you think there is a deserving “march” album that was not included in the field.