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Mar 22, 2008 01:36 PM

Music in Mark Bittman's Minimalist Video Podcast

Hi Hounds,

Does anybody happen to know the names and/or artists of the music used in Mark Bittman's "Minimalist" video podcasts (also available on The New York Times website)...?

There's a lazy, elegant, and jazzy piece that ends nearly every episode (it used to open the show some time back, too), and I'd love to hear the whole thing.

I'd also like to know the name and artist of the piece that used to open the show a couple months back: it's another lazy little jazz tune that features whistling throughout. Anyone know it?

Thanks for any and all help!

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  1. ...Does no one know..?? Someone's got to.. C'mon! =)

    1. I did some searching; I found nothing.

      But I can tell you that it isn't minimalist music!

      1 Reply
      1. re: miss_bennet

        Well, thanks for at least trying, Miss Bennet -- I certainly appreciate the effort.

        "I can tell you that it isn't minimalist music!"



      2. well....
        for the PBS Bittman show, the song is "Caballo Viejo", by Ry Cooder & Manuel Galban
        and if memory serves, they used a cut from Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos in an earlier show. But neither of those are what I heard on the NYT website when I watched his shrimp with fermented black beans stir fry yesterday...
        If it's really driving you nuts, email the producer of the segment at the NYT. Those videos have credits...

        1. Did you ever find out, sanangel? This has been bugging me for some time as well - I love that tune! Endless searching and this was the only mention of it I could find; I was hoping you might have an answer by now!


          1 Reply
          1. re: chefwannab

            The music is in the style of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France (Gypsy Jazz). Usually a guitar (Django Reinhardt) and a violin (Stefan Grapelli) bass etc. This particular piece is probably The Hot Club of San Francisco (Paul Mehing guitar and Evan Price violin). I play this music and know most of the players styles and sound, but I have never heard this particular tune by this group. Listen to music on their web site: Hope this helps.

          2. So I * * f i n a l l y * * found the song I've been looking for. With the help of one of the producers of Bittman's Minimalist videos/podcasts, I learned that the song is called "Le Weekend," and it's by an artist by the name of Alex Keen. There's a catch, however: the song cannot be found on any commercially available album, and was written solely for use by the television and movie industry. Bummer.

            7 Replies
            1. re: sanangel

              chefwannab -- please contact me at sanangel at g mail dot com. thanks

              1. re: sanangel

                If we are all talking about the same music that is typically played at the end of his videos with a violin and guitar, then see my previous post. Pretty sure the violin and guitar are Paul Mehling and Evan Price of the Hot Club of San Francisco. Below is a youtube link with this group playing a different tune in this same style. The only Alex Keen I know of that plays this style of music is from London and is the bass player with a band named "Vipers Dream". They don't sound like the music in the Bittman videos to my ears. I have never seen that this Alex Keen writes any music in this style. I will write to Paul and ask him if they did this piece.


                1. re: chipdum

                  You evidently have no idea, "chipdum". The music is "Le Weekend" by Alex Keen (Lazy jazz violin accordion and guitar) and the link is here

                  1. re: galindes

                    Galindes, thank you! I'm eternally grateful. Tracking down that piece had been driving me crazy.

                    It was interesting to compare the 29 second version used on Bittman's videos with the much longer full version.

                    Music lovers may have fun exploring that whole site, which is devoted to generic music intended for use in the background of TV shows, movies, and commercials.

                    1. re: Jophan

                      You are more than welcome "Jophan"! I am glad that people share my interest in Mark Bitmman's "The Minimalist" music score.

                    2. re: galindes

                      how in the world did I miss this link! Fantastic share, thank you!