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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
Loc: Massachussetts, USA
I've been out of commission for several months. No opportunity to play or even check on any social media. Sheesh. Well, I got back enough time over the last few days to get something down for posterity. Here is my rendition of All Blues by Miles Davis and company.
I've been wanting to play around with these "backdoor ii-V's", so I put some of those in the solo. This is where you can play an alternate harmony down a major 3rd or up a minor 3rd from where the actual chords are- And it can sound pretty interesting.
Fascinating recording, it is always fun to spice thngs up by weaving in and out of the harmony like that, if you can pull it off smoothly, which you obviously can. Like those chords! Your piano has a really good sound to it. Who is playing the trumpet?
My piece this month is How High The Moon, by Morgan Lewis, with lyrics by Nancy Hamilton. This song was originally conceived as a ballad, but quickly became a favorite of swing-era and bebop-era jazz improvisers because of its appealing harmonic structure. There have been many great recordings by the likes of Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker (who also wrote another tune based on its chord progressions), Ella Fitzgerald, etc. It remains popular with jazz lovers. I have gussied it up a bit by doing my best to create a Peter-Martin-style intro, and a Fabrizio-Caligaris-style ending.
Loc: Massachussetts, USA
Thank you for your comments. You had a very nice solo piano groove on How High The Moon. I like the left hand bass line call and response kind of fills during the melody. It gave the sense that there was a bass player there. It's hard when going into the solo to leave the bass line and switch to left hand chord comping on an upbeat song without getting the sense that something just dropped out. Cedar Walton is an expert at doing this. You did a super job and then were able to ease back out of it and into the melody. Very nice.
Loved the into and ending, but you are going to have to give me a lesson on who Peter Martin and Fabrizio Caligaris are :-)
The trumpet player on my tune was one of the ones for band-in-a-box that I thought fit best with this song. Miles was unavailable His name is Don Clark, and here is the bio that they post for him:
Don Clark has enjoyed a long career as one of Canada's leading trumpet and flugelhorn players. As a player, arranger, and composer on the West Coast since the early 1960's, he has been leader of the Donnie Clark Quartet and Quintet and the Don Clark Ragtime Band as well as a member of leading Jazz ensembles such as the Bobby Hales Orchestra, the West Coast Jazz Orchestra, and a regular on CBC radio and television. He was a founding member of the legendary Vancouver all-star Jazz sextet Pacific Salt, touring throughout North America and Europe in the 1970s.
The list of artists that Don Clark has performed and recorded with includes Bob Hales, Dave Robbins, Pacific Salt, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Lance Harrison, Fraser McPherson, Doug Parker, New Orleans Connection, and the Chicago Six. His most recent CD release with the Donnie Clark Quintet, To Swing or not To Swing, features nine original compositions and classic Jazz ballads.
Donny Clark plays ballad Jazz Trumpet, with very melodic phrasing that can be suitable for many styles like Jazz, Easy Listening or Country. His playing is in a traditional style, similar to Chet Baker or Louis Armstrong.
Ken - as an ex trumpet player and Miles fan this is one of my favourite tunes, really like your solo on this particlularly the second half which really works well. The trumpet player is definitely going for a Miles impression, how does that work though , I presume the software is loaded with licks which it fits over the changes? I agree with Ed about the piano sound too , perfect for 50s jazz.
Ed - nice arrangement and nice flowing improvisation, solo jazz piano is hard , well done, one of your best.
So we have a Piano Bar, maybe sometimes they would get a big band in ! Just for fun and for the jazz guys this is a big band piece I wrote about 30 years ago, 20 years ago I discovered MIDI and thought I would see how a virtual big band would sound. This was done on a second hand ATARI computer with 1meg of memory - and before Windows 95 :-) - I recorded each instrument separately using the sounds on a Yamaha SY35 midi keyboard. Unfortunately I never did finish recording the drums and they drop out half way , also at the time I had no real way of adding suitable dynamics , but hey its a virtual band. Other than that the instrument sounds are not too bad for the time ( 1994 I think). There is some piano comping going on using an electric piano sound and a trumpet solo doing my best impression of Woody Shaw - but on keyboard of course :-)
Loc: Massachussetts, USA
I can't believe you did that in 1MB of memory! I'm trying to wrap my head around it. I work on creating memory OS platforms that can give businesses a vast amount of scalability on all new types of memory media. 1 TB of memory isnt really even a lot these days. 1 MB doesn't even fit a tracking cookie anymore!
Do you have a picture of yourself composing on the ATARI? You should post it if you do.
Amazingly, you really captured the big band elements, with the voicings, the way that the soloist is lead in, the overall swing. Very cool
The midi file is 36k Ken , not sure what I recorded the audio on but it was via the SY35. I worked off a written score so it was just a matter of pressing record and playing each part.
The Atari computer was used in pro recording studios before the PC/MAC era. Before 1994 I hadn't even touched a computer, too old to have done it at school and was I never into gaming. That was alos not long before the demise of the Atari platform.
Great piece Ed. And beautiful job you are doing with the adlib. Very entertaining, nice changes and swing. I love it.
Thought this was Kenton at first, Jazztpt. Way cool sound. Good work with this.
Thanks too Elssa. For the tune of course, and for steady stream of standards and other great pics. It is nice you have so many at the ready and are very regular here. You often provide me with many more great ideas. Thank you.
--- I departed work a bit early today due to Stormy Weather. Calling for sun by Friday (Ski day for me). Here is ...
I'm really not sure of this and would appreciate any feedback. Not just on the piece itself but also the recording quality and the "idea" behind the piece. I have it as "unlisted" but it should be able to be seen here.
Loc: Massachussetts, USA
Elssa - Beautiful playing on Ebb Tide. I don't know if it was your video or my browser (probably the latter), but the video came out as one of those fast-stop-action things that they use for horror movies. It was a cool juxtaposition to listen to the luscious melody while seeing the ominous stop-action video.
Greener - That about sums it up here in Boston too! We're having our bi-weekly storm in this record-breaking cold/snow winter - but... we're supposed to have blue skies this weekend! Nice job on the medley and the transition.
Jazztpt, oh, I would really like to hear that played by a real band, you've got all the right stuff packed in there! What voicings! I really love sophisticated big band arrangements. Great stuff, thanks for sharing this.
Elssa, Ebb Tide is the ideal song for you, perfectly matched to your style and arranging techniques. I'm surprised you haven't done it before. Well done.
Greener, what a great idea for a medley - two songs of the same genre that have such contrasting moods! Your left hand stuff is cool - nice steady walking basslines, interleaved with chord strumming, chromatic patterns, etc. NIfty ending. Good playing!
Peyton, very nice work, very appropos. This reminds me a lot of Phillip Glass's music.