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May Piano Bar

Posted By: Tim Adrianson

May Piano Bar - 05/01/19 01:59 PM

Mood Island -- Erroll Garner arr Sy Johnson

Well, I'll start off the Piano Bar for this month -- here is the first of three submissions: a "tip of the hat" to the great Jazz pianist Erroll Garner. The first two are from a collection entitled "The Erroll Garner Songbook", which Cherry Lane Publishers issued shortly after Garner's sudden death at 53 years of age in 1977. Their biographical notes sum up what I remember about Garner: "Erroll Garner was a child prodigy...He was exposed to traditional music training; however, these attempts were foiled by his remarkable ear and incredible aural memory. Garner memorized everything at one hearing, eliminating the need to read. Musically self-taught, he created a new, original style and became a dominant influence on contemporary piano."

Again drawing from their notes: "'Mood Island' was written at a remarkable recording session in 1970 which also produced 'Something Happens (Feeling is Believing)'. It was composed and recorded in one take, as were the three other compositions from the same date...The album 'Feeling is Believing' was voted best jazz piano album of 1970 worldwide by readers of 'Jazz and Pop Magazine'".
Posted By: Tim Adrianson

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/01/19 02:11 PM

Eldorado -- Erroll Garner arr Sy Johnson

The second submission is a more up-tempo Latin composition. Again drawing from Cherry Lane's notes: "'Eldorado" is Erroll's funky Latin bag. It is one step up in difficulty from 'Mood island', but great fun to play, and has some wonderfully funky licks that lie well under the hands." In the interests of full disclosure, much of this rendition is not what Sy Johnson notated, but is more my own take on how the piece "moves". Just an added comment -- Garner in general did not authorize transcriptions and arrangements of his own compositions, which he himself never wrote down; however, he did make an exception with Sy Johnson after working with him extensively in 1976, with the intention of allowing publication of many of his compositions. Ironically, though, he died very suddenly in early 1977, making the publication a memorial with increased urgency, rather than a celebration of his considerable legacy.
Posted By: Tim Adrianson

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/01/19 02:27 PM

Babette -- Erroll Garner transcribed Morris Feldman

The final submission is "Babette" -- a slow blues number that comes much earlier than "The Erroll Garner Songbook". The publisher is still Cherry Lane, but it goes all the way back to 1950. By that time, Garner was already well known in the Jazz world (he emerged in the early 40s). And again, Cherry Lane provides precise notes: "This book contains various examples of the Garner style, some of which have never been recorded commercially. Garner's musical knack of improvising is best exemplified by 'Babette' which he composed completely at one 'take' at a private recording session...These solos were transcribed by Morris Feldman, an outstanding man in the field. Garner heard these played by Feldman and was amazed at their accuracy." Well, uh, this player cannot claim to much more than a rough approximation to accuracy -- it's chock full of arpeggiation flourishes up and down the keyboard, and loaded with open 10ths in the left hand that Garner could reach comfortably (although smallish in stature, he had enormous hands, capable of reaching a 12th) -- but hopefully I've caught some of the "juice" of his style.
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/01/19 02:59 PM

Tim Adrianson - That's an impressive selection under your fingers Tim, particularly Babette, how many notes ? lol

I am not really familiar with Errrol Garner (to my shame) so it's interesting to hear this selection , Mood Island appeals to me most and as ever your playing is top notch on all three.
So off to Youtube now to investigate Errol Garner. The two things I know about him are he did that playing behind the beat thing with his right hand and he wrote Misty, a tune I can't stand lol.
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/01/19 03:08 PM

Here's my contribution for May, my arrangement of a medley of standards:

A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (1939)
Skylark (1941)
That's All (1952)

Medley
Posted By: Pianist685

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/01/19 03:11 PM

Tim – Tribute to Erroll Garner Boy, you are quick with the Piano Bar. I like your approach of presenting one specific artist each month. So you picked Garner this month... I must say I am not as familiar with his music as he deserves, although I know him for “Misty”, of course, which is the only Garner piece I have ever played so far. So your recordings made me discover some more bits of this outstanding artist. “Eldorado” is very funky, indeed, I would not have thought it was by Garner. “Babette” is more what I would expect, with strides in the left hand. 10ths and 12ths, haha… Well, I do cope with tenths, they are not that much a problem, but I have not yet tried 12ths.

According to the principle that we can play what we want, I have recorded another Yiruma, this time something with less treble, melancholy and calm, but rhythmically interesting (not to be confused with "Mood Indigo" by Ellington).

Yiruma, Indigo
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/01/19 03:19 PM

Pianist685 - Well that was lovely to listen to with a very catchy hook which is already going around in my head :-) Nice.
Posted By: Pianist685

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 09:08 AM

Jazztpt – Medley of 3 Jazz Standards It is always a great pleasure to listen to your renditions of jazz standards and your gently swinging impros. My favourite song in your bunch of 3 is “A Nightingale…” I remember I once heard a very artful vocal arrangement of this classic by The Manhattan Transfer in the 1970s or early 1980s when I was a teenager.
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 09:54 AM

Tim,
I have some Garner music but I never have got used to his style. On a technical note, your recorded volume has several parts that suddenly increase in volume which is not something I heard heard before in your recordings.

You may recall last month that I noted that you had had your piano tuned. Perhaps this recording is from an earlier time as the treble is way out of tune. Hope I have not offended?

Ian
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 10:01 AM

Tim,
Despite my earlier comment about Garner's style Babette and your playing was most enjoyable.
Ian
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 10:08 AM

Jazztpt,
A very nice balanced medley. I just wish my 72 year old fingers were as nimble as yours!
Ian
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 10:16 AM

Pianist685,
Yiruma is a new pianist for me but I liked Indigo. You might have read my comment earlier regarding's the volume on Tim's first piece. I noted the same effect on your Indigo. I cannot understand why this is happening. Perhaps there is a fault in my audio playback which I will investigate.
Ian
Posted By: Pianist685

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 12:11 PM

Beemer, thanks for your kind comment. Here is Yiruma's Wikipedia entry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiruma

I cannot detect any increase in volume in Tim's recordings, nor in mine. Maybe there is an issue with your playback programme?
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 05:22 PM

Tim and Pianist685,

Further to my comments on both your recordings I am pleased to say that the problem is the audio playback on my Galaxy tablet. Your recordings are okay on my desktop.
Ian
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 05:42 PM

Here are my May contributions:


Composed in 1926 by Ray Henderson...zag2hdfp38nviz6m, It's only a Paper Moon

Composed in 1933 by Hard Arlen


Composed in 1932 by Harold Arlen
...ukjkywgat93unn0ezrdj0aq,Fun to be Fooled

Composed in 1934 by Harold Arlen

I knew the first two songs but the last two were completely new to me today. I apologise for my mistakes on these but I just played them from first sight and did one take on each.

Ian
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 05:44 PM

Oops! I'll correct the file names
Ian
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/02/19 05:56 PM

Here are my May contributions: (second try)

The Birth of the Blues
Composed in 1926 by Ray Henderson and recorded that year by Paul Whiteman

It's only a Paper Moon
Composed in 1933 by Hard Arlen

I Got the Right to Sing the Blues
Composed in 1932 by Harold Arlen

Fun to be Fooled
Composed in 1934 by Harold Arlen

I knew the first two songs but the last two were completely new to me today. I apologise for my mistakes on these but I just played them from first sight and did one take on each.

Ian
Posted By: Pianist685

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/03/19 12:14 PM

Beemer Your piano sounds great and you are a fine jazz pianist and obviously really good at sight reading. “The birth of the blues” is my favourite tune of your contributions. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra was one of the leading jazz bands in the late 1920s, with such great soloists like Bix Beiderbecke (a self-taught cornetist) who tragically died of pneumonia at 28 and a very young Bing Crosby as part of the “Rhythm Boys”, maybe the first boy group in popular music. “It’s only a paper moon” is another famous jazz standard. I did not know the other two pieces by Arlen, but it is always very interesting to hear less famous songs. The overall volume of your recordings could be a bit higher, I had to turn the volume on my notebook up to 100% and still found the level too low.
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/03/19 02:21 PM

Pianist 685,
Thanks for your kind comments. I normally listen back by connecting an optical cable from my ID44 audio interface to my Anthem 100W+100W rms AV receiver and Tannoy speakers. So bumping up my playback volume is not a problem. However it is quite easy for me to overdrive my digital output in Reaper my DAW software, when I render the file to flac. To avoid the horrible digital overdrive rasps I have recently been lowering the output volume to -12dB before rendering so that is probably why you found the volume too low. I lift it a little next time. I do wish that Frank would allow more than a few minutes (7?) before no further editing is allowed. I'm on other forums where a day is allowed.
Ian
Posted By: Riddler

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/04/19 02:43 AM

Tim, wow, excellent performances of those Garner tunes. I don't remember hearing them before but they certainly are appealing. I saw him play several times in the 50s/60s and it was always an exhiliarating experience. I used to really go into orbit listening to him play those insane left hand octave countermelodies. Anyway, it's great to hear these tunes of his, and played so well.

Russ, neat medley. I don't know if those songs fit together, or if you forced them to fit together, but in any case, they sound terrific in your medley.

Constantin, very appealing, very lyrical, to me. I looked at that wikipedia entry. I see they have some difficulty categorizing his music, as I do. But, whatever. Sounds good!

Ian, your first three pieces are songs I have been humming forever and a day, but the final one was new to me. They all sounded good to me, and I was amazed to read that they were all first takes.

My piece is Well You Needn't, one of those angular Thelonious Monk's tunes. I am playing from a lead sheet, accompanied by a backing track.

Ed

Well You Needn't
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/04/19 08:33 AM

Here are my May contributions:

(third post this time with boosted volume. My understanding is that new versions can be uploaded to Box.com and the original url links remain valid. We shall see. )

The Birth of the Blues
Composed in 1926 by Ray Henderson and recorded that year by Paul Whiteman

It's only a Paper Moon

Composed in 1933 by Hard Arlen

I Got the Right to Sing the Blues
Composed in 1932 by Harold Arlen

Fun to be Fooled
Composed in 1934 by Harold Arlen

I knew the first two songs but the last two were completely new to me today. I apologise for my mistakes on these but I just played them from first sight and did one take on each.

Ian
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/04/19 08:57 AM

On re-posting my four pieces with boosted (re-rendered) volume I found that, when copying the previous post to paste it into the new one, the links were copied but in name only, i.e. without the underline. So I had to remake all links from scratch.
Ian
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/04/19 02:34 PM

Beemer - well your 72 year old fingers may not be as nimble as they once were but they know where to go on the piano keyboard. I suspect we are all sitting back and admiring your sight reading skills too. Paper Moon was very nearly my contribution this month too but it will keep :-)
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/04/19 02:42 PM

Riddler - Great stuff Ed, you really have Monk down, love that left hand part during the head which creates the quirky Monk feel and then releases into the straight ahead swing. Great recording too.
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/04/19 05:59 PM

Originally Posted by Riddler
Tim, wow, excellent performances of those Garner tunes. I don't remember hearing them before but they certainly are appealing. I saw him play several times in the 50s/60s and it was always an exhiliarating experience. I used to really go into orbit listening to him play those insane left hand octave countermelodies. Anyway, it's great to hear these tunes of his, and played so well.

Russ, neat medley. I don't know if those songs fit together, or if you forced them to fit together, but in any case, they sound terrific in your medley.

Constantin, very appealing, very lyrical, to me. I looked at that wikipedia entry. I see they have some difficulty categorizing his music, as I do. But, whatever. Sounds good!

Ian, your first three pieces are songs I have been humming forever and a day, but the final one was new to me. They all sounded good to me, and I was amazed to read that they were all first takes.

My piece is Well You Needn't, one of those angular Thelonious Monk's tunes. I am playing from a lead sheet, accompanied by a backing track.

Ed

Well You Needn't


Riddler,
I was confused at first trying to figure what "was you", and what was the backing track? It was a really nice experience and not what I was expecting from the Monk repertoire. Great!
Ian
Posted By: Riddler

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/05/19 03:39 AM

Originally Posted by Beemer

Riddler,
I was confused at first trying to figure what "was you", and what was the backing track? ...
Ian


Bass and drums were on the backing track (Band in a box). I was playing piano.

Ed
Posted By: Pianist685

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/05/19 07:40 AM

Beemer Thanks, for boosting the volume, now it's loud enough for me (to hear the small inaccuracies from sight reading you mentioned).
Ed - Well, You Needn't "Angular", yes, funny and fun to listen to. I found it easy to figure out which voices come from the backing track and what you are playing on the piano, e.g. some bass notes in your left hand that are already on the backing track.
Posted By: Handyman

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/06/19 12:47 PM

Tim - I have fond memories of Erroll Garner - remember seeing him on early TV variety shows and had several of his LPs - always amazed by his technique & improvisational abilities - of the three enjoyable pieces I think I liked "Mood Island" best, but very well played all...
Posted By: Handyman

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/06/19 01:09 PM

Originally Posted by jazztpt
Here's my contribution for May, my arrangement of a medley of standards:

A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (1939)
Skylark (1941)
That's All (1952)

Medley


An excellent medley very well played Russ!

I remember first hearing "Nightingale..." on a Nat King Cole album from way back when, and the other two songs on a June Christy album from the early 50s...for some strange reason I still remember thses lyrics from "That's All":

I can only give you country walks in springtime
And a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall
And a love whose burning light
to warm the winter night,
that's all, that's all.
Posted By: Tim Adrianson

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/06/19 01:47 PM

Hi, folks -- great to hear the contributions thus far -- hopefully, we'll get a few more:

jazztpt -- A shrewdly conceived medley, connected IMO by the sweet-sadness of all three. I associated "A NIghtingale..." with WW II Britain in my mind's eye; after Googling it, it turns out that I wasn't wrong -- it became popular in 1940, the same year as the Nazi air attack on British soil. The other two are from the 40s and 50s, respectively, and all are well deserved Standards. And (as usual) your rendition had just the right sense of gentle swing. Just out of curiosity -- does Britain have venues that support this type of music; i.e., informal pubs, but perhaps a little higher-end? Here in the USA (at least where I live), there isn't much call for it.

Pianist685 -- I hadn't heard of Yiruma prior to your playing him -- I think he provides "New Age" music in its very best sense; i.e., providing melodic "hooks" with enough variety and rhythmic displacements to sustain interest. I get a sense of the American West in the music, and you understand how it moves very well, IMO.

Beemer -- A nice traversal of varied of tunes from the mid 20s to mid 30s. I'm glad you featured Harold Arlen -- IMO, he is easily in the same league as Gershwin, Rodgers, Kern, Porter, and Berlin, and indeed, Berlin himself once simply said: "Harold's best is the best". Both he and Harry Warren were responsible for just a raft of hits throughout the 30s, 40s, and early 50s, but somehow both were more under the radar than the other names above. With the exception of Gershwin, Arlen "heard" Jazz and Blues language more deeply than the others I cited, and much of his later music (post WW II) is highly Jazz-inflected -- the sheet music essentially has Jazz changes built right in. I intend to provide a good bit of this music in future Piano Bars -- much of it is unfortunately little-known, but it's great stuff.

Riddler -- A great swinging rendition of "Well, You Needn't" -- it's Monk at his most genial and accessible, and your rendition is spot on in those qualities.

Beemer -- I recorded the Garner pieces one day before posting them here -- and, yes, certain treble notes have degenerated into the "wince" category, no doubt about it. I have a tuning scheduled for May 21, the same day we're hosting a local music group in the evening. Unfortunately, I've already recorded the pieces for the June Piano Bar, and so you'll have to live with some sour stuff for yet another month.
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/06/19 02:50 PM

Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
........ Just out of curiosity -- does Britain have venues that support this type of music; i.e., informal pubs, but perhaps a little higher-end? Here in the USA (at least where I live), there isn't much call for it.

.


Thanks for your comments Tim. I live near Newcastle which is a big party town , loads of bars and restaurants. I believe there are a couple of Piano bars and some of the restaurants have pianists at the weekends. However I doubt they are playing too many of the standards we enjoy in our bar , which I am sure are musicaly of a far higher quality :-)
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/07/19 08:43 AM

Originally Posted by Handyman
[quote=jazztpt]..........

I remember first hearing "Nightingale..." on a Nat King Cole album from way back when, and the other two songs on a June Christy album from the early 50s...for some strange reason I still remember thses lyrics from "That's All":

I can only give you country walks in springtime
And a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall
And a love whose burning light
to warm the winter night,
that's all, that's all.


Thanks Handyman. It was June Christy who introduced that’s all to me too, but only a couple of years ago in my case.
Posted By: Handyman

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/07/19 04:17 PM

Originally Posted by Pianist685
...

According to the principle that we can play what we want, I have recorded another Yiruma, this time something with less treble, melancholy and calm, but rhythmically interesting (not to be confused with "Mood Indigo" by Ellington).

Yiruma, Indigo


Constantin - delightful little tune that has an "indigo" feel to it in parts - as always really enjoyed your deft touch on the keyboard!

Just wondering - are you familiar with the works of David Lanz - I think you might like them very much - for a good intro start with his beautiful "Leaves on the Seine"...
Posted By: Pianist685

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/09/19 09:00 AM

Handyman, yes, "Leaves on the Seine" is very pretty and very much the same style as Yiruma, perhaps a bit more like Einaudi whom I like less. I was not familiar with Lanz's music at all but I have heard "Cristofori's Dream" a couple of times on Classic Radio.
Posted By: Handyman

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/09/19 05:39 PM

Originally Posted by Beemer
Here are my May contributions: (second try)

The Birth of the Blues
Composed in 1926 by Ray Henderson and recorded that year by Paul Whiteman

It's only a Paper Moon
Composed in 1933 by Hard Arlen

I Got the Right to Sing the Blues
Composed in 1932 by Harold Arlen

Fun to be Fooled
Composed in 1934 by Harold Arlen

Ian


Great job on these Ian, especially with one take sight reading - oldies but goodies - I've heard them all off and on for years - "Fun to be Fooled" is a way underrated song I've always liked a lot - thanks for bringing that one back to mind especially!
Posted By: Handyman

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/09/19 05:45 PM

Originally Posted by Pianist685
Handyman, yes, "Leaves on the Seine" is very pretty and very much the same style as Yiruma, perhaps a bit more like Einaudi whom I like less...


Yes, it's a beautifully melodic piece of music - Einaudi is pleasant enough for sure, but definitely not at the same level of creativity as Lanz...
Posted By: Handyman

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/09/19 06:04 PM

Here's my contribution to the May Bar - it's the haunting melody that served as the theme music for the 1990's multi-segment PBS television series "The Civil War" - this is a typically delightful Dan Coates arrangement:

Ashokan Farewell

From Wiki: "Ashokan Farewell" is a piece of music composed by American folk musician Jay Ungar in 1982. For many years it served as a goodnight or farewell waltz at the annual Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camps run by Ungar and his wife Molly Mason, who gave the tune its name, at the Ashokan Field Campus of SUNY New Paltz (now the Ashokan Center) in Upstate New York.

Producer Ken Burns heard it and decided to incorporate it into his documentary.
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/11/19 06:58 AM

Handyman,

A beautiful evocative melody. I understand that Jay wrote it whilst sitting in a tepee. It has strain parts that are so familiar to us Scots.

Well played!

Ian
Posted By: Pianist685

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/11/19 08:49 AM

Handyman - Ashokan Farewell This one is very interesting, really something different from what we have had in the Bar so far. Thanks for citing the English Wikipedia; there is much more information about this song on the net, e.g. https://www.theatlantic.com/enterta...dy-became-an-anthem-for-the-19th/407263/ I am not a Scot but I have some vague imagination what a Scottish lament would sound like. Well, I always thought there was some difference between a tepee and a Scottish castle, haha....
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/11/19 09:18 AM

Originally Posted by Pianist685
Handyman - Ashokan Farewell This one is very interesting, really something different from what we have had in the Bar so far. Thanks for citing the English Wikipedia; there is much more information about this song on the net, e.g. https://www.theatlantic.com/enterta...dy-became-an-anthem-for-the-19th/407263/ I am not a Scot but I have some vague imagination what a Scottish lament would sound like. Well, I always thought there was some difference between a tepee and a Scottish castle, haha....

Pianist 685....Not so different.....both are cold :), but I doubt I could get my piano in a tepee smile
Ian
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/11/19 09:34 AM

Handyman - wonderful music, so pure in the harmony I’ve had 3 listens so far and got hold of a lead sheet. From little ole England I can almost see the wagons heading west.
Posted By: Handyman

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/11/19 10:56 AM

Originally Posted by Beemer
Handyman,

A beautiful evocative melody. I understand that Jay wrote it whilst sitting in a tepee. It has strain parts that are so familiar to us Scots.

Well played!

Ian


Thanks Ian - it is a very evocative and haunting melody in the style of a Scottish lament - this piano arrangement is really nice and is very satisfying to play - in the documentary it appears in part many times and sounds incredibly beautiful there since it is performed on a solo violin (or fiddle) joined by a guitar and bass in it's later stages - the theme music for the deservedly popular BBC murder mystery program "Shetland" is very similar in sound and feel - I'm sure you're probably very familiar with both the program and it's music (and the Islands)...
Posted By: IosPlayer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/11/19 12:37 PM

My contribution for this month...

https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070/freakin-atude
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/11/19 06:53 PM

IosPlayer - well it doesn't sound like Skylark................... however it does sound amazing and once again you have blown me away. Simply an amazing soundscape and so far away from any concept I have of composition. The build up to the climax at the end, the changing textures, the flow , just fantastic.
Posted By: IosPlayer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/12/19 04:51 PM

Thanks so much Jazztpt. I’m glad you liked it so well. My stuff is a bit of an ear stretch at times, but at least one outlier is tolerable, no? Of course, I think you are to be congratulated in being able to make that leap. Not many are even willing to stray from their favorite genres.
Posted By: Riddler

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/12/19 07:38 PM

Handyman, excellent playing of that haunting tune. It (and the solemn reading of the Gettysburg Address) really packed an emotional wallop to the Civil War series. Tunes come and tunes go, but this one will be remembered.

Ed

Posted By: Riddler

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/12/19 07:43 PM

IosPlayer, what a musical adventure. Here and there, something that reminds me of Cecil Taylor, or Stockhausen. Not your typical piano bar stuff, that's for sure, but interesting and appealing. Well done!

Ed
Posted By: Tim Adrianson

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/13/19 01:47 PM

Hi, folks! Catching up on a couple more submissions --

Iosplayer -- Well, "Freaking Atude" is indeed all of that -- a combination of etude and attitude! The introductory material evoked for me background music for a 1940s Film Noir movie, but then it morphed into a late 1950s - early 60s free form jazz improvisation. It started out as purely atonal, but then settled into a predominantly tonal framework -- which IMO separates it from Cecil Taylor's efforts, which for me anyway was resolutely atonal from beginning to end. I thought it was closer to, say, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, or Eric Dolphy, although I suspect there were jazz pianists at that time who did much the same thing. Very gripping and dramatic -- thoroughly satisfying from beginning to end. Besides your expert change in colors, I was fascinated by the drums, providing rhythmic gestures which did not match the flow above it.

Handyman -- I've always been a big fan of "Ashokan Farewell", and more generally, Americana; in particular, Appalachian folk music. And I would say that genre was predominantly informed by folk music from the British Isles, which explains its pronounced Celtic flavor (which I also love). Thanks for sharing it!

Variations on "The Black Dress"

In the interests of shameless self-promotion, and following up on the Americana theme, here is a variations I wrote 30 years ago on a piece by John Jacob Niles -- a composer and singer/performer who lived in Kentucky and spent the bulk of his time collecting and arranging Appalachian folk tunes. The piece is entitled "The Black Dress", the lyric of which, like many others, depicts a sorrowing woman pining for her lost love. It's a beautiful tune -- hope you like it!
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/13/19 02:58 PM

Tim,
Both the original and the composer are completely unknown to me, but I looked him up and was surprised to see several songs that I am aware of and love. JJN songs are listed as
THE BLACK DRESS
BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY TRUE LOVE'S HAIR
THE BLUE MADONNA
CALM IS THE NIGHT
CARELESS LOVE
THE CAROL OF THE BIRDS
EVENING
THE FLOWER OF JESSE
GO 'WAY FROM MY WINDOW
I WONDER AS I WANDER
JESUS, JESUS REST YOUR HEAD
THE LASS FROM THE LOW COUNTREE
LITTLE BLACK STAR
THE LOTUS BLOOM
MY LOVER IS A FARMER LAD
REWARD
RIBBON BOW
THE ROBIN AND THE THORN
SWEET LITTLE BOY JESUS
UNUSED I AM TO LOVERS
WAYFARING STRANGER
WHAT SONGS WERE SUNG
WHEN I GET UP INTO HEAVEN
THE WILD RIDER
THE ROVIN' GAMBLER
THE GAMBLER'S LAMENT
THE GAMBLER'S WIFE (BY-LOW)
GAMBLER, DON'T YOU LOSE YOUR PLACE
GAMBLER'S SONG OF THE BIG SANDY RIVER
THE CHERRY-TREE
LULLE LULLAY
DOWN IN YON FOREST
JESUS THE CHRIST IS BORN
THE SEVEN JOYS OF MARY
SEE JESUS THE SAVIOUR

Thanks for your contribution.

Ian
Posted By: IosPlayer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/13/19 06:28 PM

Thanks, Tim. I found your observations spot on. The drum tracks do have a certain counterpoint and off oneness. Part of that is because I record to a metronomic beat and add the drums afterward. The drum apps sync with the DAW app and it lines up, but sometimes the one is not the one and that leads to some interesting results as it did on this one. I listen closely that the drums are on the best mostly, but the one... well, it's only jazz and I like the incongruity.

Handyman, nice iteration of a unique piece. I've watched The Burns epic several times and never grew tired of the melody. Sometimes it is just got. He got it and so did you.

Here is one that is straight on down the road.... to make amends for bringing a small orchestra into the piano bar...

https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070/my-love-supreme
Posted By: jazztpt

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/14/19 05:56 PM

Tim - The Black Dress - beautiful tune , beautiful music, great arrangment and playing, all in all a great listen.

IosPlayer - That doesn't sound like Skylark either ! However we have morphed into a proper jazz bar. Wow I mean wow ! Loved the bit where the sax doubles the piano, thought I was listening to Keith Jarrett and Dewey Redman with Charlie Haden on bass.
(By the way Mike this is not really a leap for me, 30 years ago I was very into this sort of improvised music, these days I listen to everything from Loius Armstrong to Delius ,depending on my mood [ though I must admit, excluding pop music and rap] )
Posted By: Handyman

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/14/19 08:29 PM

Does anyone know what happened to BillM who used to contribute vocals here on a regular basis? Hopefully not illness...
Posted By: Beemer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/15/19 08:36 AM

Originally Posted by Handyman
Does anyone know what happened to BillM who used to contribute vocals here on a regular basis? Hopefully not illness...


Good question. I miss him and his style.

Ian
Posted By: IosPlayer

Re: May Piano Bar - 05/15/19 09:58 AM

Thank you so much, Tim. Those are great musicians to be associated with! I guess I am stretching the limits of the piano bar’s tolerance. So here is another rule breaker. It is a piano track... I just turned the piano midi info into a Spanish guitar. All is fair in love and software....

https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070/andalusian-doggie
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