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Gentlemen, You never disappoint. Some of my favorites; Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Mel Torme. Pianist685, The harpsichord is beautiful to hear. It must be difficult to play.

A while back one of you, I think Tim, submitted this tune by Michel LeGrand and I loved it. I found an arrangement by Robert Schultz which isn't too difficult. With a few changes here it is: What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?

Please feel free to give me some advice. This is the first improvisation I have attempted.



Last edited by TomLC; 12/05/19 07:56 PM.


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Sound good to me, Tom. Love that song!

Ed


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My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

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Tom and Jytte, I was joking when I pretended I own an 18th century harpsichord. I once had the opportunity to play such an instrument which was a very interesting experience. Its unweighted keyboard was very touch sensitive, I almost got a sound by just looking at a key. But here I just used the harpsichord sound of my silent system.

Tyrone, improvisation can either be done on stand-alone chords or on chords from a song with a melody. Both can be jazz. I prefer the latter where the artist gets some inspiration from the melody and is not just playing random things on a chord progression that does not have any further meaning. We did the former in our music class in school where the teacher gave us just the two alternating harmonies Dminor7 and G7, one per bar, and we were playing random things on these two chords for about twenty minutes and thought we were such great artists. In fact, we weren’t, and we did not realize that that “jam session” would have been boring to an audience after half a minute already. The question whether jazz has a melody furthermore depends on what kind of jazz you are referring to, but initially – in the 1920s, the so-called Jazz Age – a band or a musician would play the melody from a song (that often had lyrics), then improvise on the chords from that specific song, and come back to the melody again in the end. I think you know that. In the case of “Giant Steps” we have something I would not call a ”song” in its proper sense since it cannot be “sung” because it does not have a melody, at least to my ears, but it definitely provides a framework for improvising and is – because of its complexity - far better than the thing we did in school.

Tom – What are you doing the rest of your life This is a very beautiful and rather appropriate interpretation. Wonderful! The impro is perfect, with chords in the left hand and the right hand improvising (as far as I can hear). There is no need for any advice IMO. Well, maybe Tim can say a bit more since he is more familiar with the piece than I.

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Here's my interpretation of the beautifully nostalgic Christmas classic first sung by Judy Garland in the 1944 movie "Meet Me in St. Louis" - this is a Dan Coates arrangement that I think I uploaded here before a while back - I want to submit it again because it perfectly fits the holiday mood of this month's Bar, and also because it's one of the few songs I've ever recorded that I didn't feel like I should go back to some time in the future and try re-recording to get a "better take"...


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


John

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John - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas... Oh thank you so much! One of my favourite movies, and one of the best Christmas songs ever. Enjoyed that very much smile

Last edited by Jytte; 12/07/19 08:53 AM.

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Handyman - Have yourself... Dan Coates' piano arrangements are always very pleasing and not that difficult to play. Thanks for contributing. Happy holiday (I hope it is not too early to say that).

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Handyman,

Well done. One of my Christmas favs. I've seen MMISL on stage a couple of times and I always assumed the movie was based on the stage production, but apparently the opposite is true. Ya learn something every day. Good arrangement, well played!

With regard to the Giant Steps discussion, one way to hear the basic melody more clearly might be to listen to the first half minute or so of this gorgeous lady singing so gorgeously:

Giant Steps vocal

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

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Oh, yes, I can hear it now. So that is the melody behind it. That makes Tyrone's question even less understandable.

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Handyman, I liked the slow tempo. It’s a sad song that many perform in an upbeat tempo. I prefer your recording, slow and reflective.

‘Giant Steps”: I have the album so I listened to it this morning. The Smithsonian Jazz Anthology describes Giant Steps as a “densely packed 16 bars. An extremely vertical piece.” It is taken at a breakneck tempo of 276 beats per minute.” “Giant Steps became a test piece for jazz musicians, a staple of jazz education programs, and a modern jazz standard...”. It was groundbreaking at the time.



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A more listenable and watchable version of the vocal:

Vocal

Notice how the guitar player reacts when she starts the scat part at about 0:30.

Here's the backstory:

backstory


Ed


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She is AMAZING.



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Here is Silver Bells, which I recorded today. I played this yesterday at a workshop on a Steinway B. It sounds so much better on that. One day, we'll have a Steinway ...

Hope you enjoy. There is a flub in there somewhere. This is an arrangement found in Christmas Songs For Classical Piano, arranged by Phillip Keveren.



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bSharp(C)yclist, gee, what a perfect arrangement, it sounds very Christmassy. That was some nifty left-hand work on your part, well done!

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

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Dan, Beautifully played and such a nice clean arrangement. Nice job.



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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Here is Silver Bells, which I recorded today. I played this yesterday at a workshop on a Steinway B. It sounds so much better on that. One day, we'll have a Steinway ...

Hope you enjoy. There is a flub in there somewhere. This is an arrangement found in Christmas Songs For Classical Piano, arranged by Phillip Keveren.



Really played well. Thanks for posting.



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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Here is Silver Bells, which I recorded today. I played this yesterday at a workshop on a Steinway B. It sounds so much better on that. One day, we'll have a Steinway ...

Hope you enjoy. There is a flub in there somewhere. This is an arrangement found in Christmas Songs For Classical Piano, arranged by Phillip Keveren.


Lovely, just the right thing to put you in the mood for the season smile


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Dan, thanks for this nice and well-played arrangement of a very fine Christmas tune. You did not have the opportunity to record your performance on the Steinway, did you?

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Thanks NobleHouse, Jytte and Pianist685!

Originally Posted by Pianist685
Dan, thanks for this nice and well-played arrangement of a very fine Christmas tune. You did not have the opportunity to record your performance on the Steinway, did you?


Thanks! I did not, but the teacher did. She recorded the entire workshop. I'll have to ask her for the recording. I messed up somewhere in the middle of it though smile

The Steinway B is amazing. The touch is great, but it's the dynamic range that wows me, that difference between very soft and very loud.


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Nicely done bSharp(C)yclist!


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This is video of me playing Clara Schumann's Nocturne, Op 6 No 2 (from Soirees Musicales). It is too beautiful not to share.

I just recorded this today. It is a work in progress but I just love to play it, hope you guys enjoy it - feel free to add comments here or below the clip on the YouTube video...


Last edited by AssociateX; 12/10/19 04:23 PM.

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