Join the Club
Thanks for visiting this page and considering buying my new CD, 'Join the Club.' I'm quite happy with it, as it gave me the opportunity to realize some of my stranger musical ideas and re-arrangements of other peoples' songs, with some of my favorite musicians. Here they are, by the way: M.S. - piano all selections, voice (10) Kim Nazarian - voice (2,3,7,10) Club Meeting 1: Berklee Session (1/17/2005) - tracks 2,4,6,9,10 Andrew Rathbun - tenor sax Taylor Haskins - trumpet Jay Ashby - trombone Eric Byers - guitar (2,6) Fernando Huergo - electric bass Bertram Lehmann - drums, percussion Ernesto Diaz - percussion (4,6,9) Club Meeting 2: Peter Kontrimas Session (3/19/2005) -tracks 1,3,5,7,8 Donny McCaslin - tenor sax John Dirac - guitar (5,8) Evan Gregor - acoustic bass Jordan Perlson - drums Here are some notes about each of the tracks, which I didn't have room to include in the CD packaging.... ENJOY! Take 5: God I hate this tune, so much so that I changed ALL the chords... Where the original changes were static I introduced movement, and where there was movement I put in a pedal point. Friends with Benefits/Just Friends: this is something that the college kids talk about. The idyll it describes cannot exist in nature, but this tune is based on a reharmonization of 'just friends', which I then re-melodicized... in 3-part counterpoint. Come Rain or Come Shine: There is a long, funny story about my doing gigs with the Luciana Souza band, where we would play concerts for inner-city elementary school students to teach them about Brazilian music, wherein we would demonstrate a 3/4 samba feel, about which I knew nothing, and during which I also realized I suffered from lactose-intolerance. Ask me about this story sometime (but enjoy this 3/4 samba version of this great standard). Lovefool: Everyday I had no gigs while Taylor Haskins and I lived in NYC I would order takeout from La Caridad (a great Cuban-Chinese place on 79th and Broadway) and set up my keyboard in the living room and play along with VH1. This tune was on a lot. It is awesome. Tap That...: I wrote (and performed) this tune as a feature for Jazz Tap Pioneer Josh Hilberman. We will record it together someday. This version is a FIRST TAKE, and, to me, so slamming that I couldn't help but release it without him. Alone Together (Juntas a Solas): This is a 'mash up' of sorts. Thomson Kneeland, Dave Jamrog and I played this version for the first time on some kind of afternoon gig at the Meridien Hotel. Buena Vista Social Club was taking the nation by storm. This was a wonderful movie by German director Wim Wenders, chronicling the process of Ry Cooder jamming with Cuban jazz masters (often finding them driving cab and other non-musical professions). 'Chan Chan' is the first tune on this record, and it was ubiquitous at the time. We use the groove of 'chan chan' on the perennial standard 'alone together,' then go into a tune that is a surprise, suffice it to say that I met the composer of this tune at a wedding, where I was playing this tune during the cocktail hour, where he introduced himself to me by saying 'hearing you play this tune as a cocktail jazz number is like hearing it as muzak in an elevator.' Anyway... I've played this arrangement for years at all kinds of gigs, wallpaper to concerts, and people like it... it's kind of like my 'alison,' my 'roxanne.' Longing: there is a book of which a friend of mine made me aware, chronicling (and exaggerating) the relationship between Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann. The book is called 'longing.' I have always been fascinated by this (probably mostly fictional) relationship (a dude romances the wife of a good friend of his, while the friend languishes in an insane asylum), and I'm quite pleased with this tune, which is maybe the most substantial jazz tune I've ever channeled, which originated by my messing around with some of the 'grips' (what cool people call chord voicings) from a Brahms intermezzo. Join the Club: this is my freeish, Ornetty tune, though we play changes after awhile. Misty: a pianist friend of mine was playing with singer Donna Byrne and bassist Marshall Wood, and Marshall shouted to the pianist, at the top of the form 'HEY, play D over Eb on this chord.' My friend misunderstood him, and began playing the tune in D, while the singer still kept singing it in Eb. I tried this, and it sounded appropriately horrible, but then I changed a chord quality or two, and the progression took on a life of it's own. That is how this WRONG arrangement originated. Invisible Sun: Has there been a better and more influential BAND than the Police? since the Beatles? not to this piano man... I play jazz today because I heard Kenny Kirkland and Branford Marsalis doing it with Mr. Stingman in 1984. The Police were an autonomous collective; 3 strong players, steeped in jazz, playing these timeless, simple yet elegant, poetic tunes... improvising... they taught me that there are NO boundaries in music. None. Ange Rathbun wrote a nice rhythm section arrangement of this for the Luciana band in the mid 90s, and I resurrected it and added the seasoning of a Steely Dan-ish horn arrangement and the multi-tracked vocals of Kim Nazarian and the incredibly fortunate ME.