Posts filed under ‘Jazz’

Manhã de Carnaval

This is my sixties-style instrumental arrangement of “Manhã de Carnaval” (“Carnival Morning”) by Brazilian composer Luiz Bonfá and lyricist Antônio Maria.

“Manhã de Carnaval” appeared as a principal theme in the 1959 Portuguese-language film, “Black Orpheus”. It was one of the first Bossa Nova compositions to gain popularity outside Brazil. Particularly in the United States, the song has become a jazz standard and is considered to be one of the most important Brazilian Jazz/Bossa songs that helped establish the Bossa Nova movement in the late 1950s.

January 19, 2020 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

We Few

“We Few” is an original jazz/fusion composition that I wrote back in 2011, during my “Palindrome” period. The guitar part shows has some country influence. I think this is one of my better original tunes.

April 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

Mainstream

“Mainstream” is an original “smooth jazz” tune. I recently came across the original lead sheet I made for this, and got a bit of a shock. I wrote this FORTY F***ING YEARS AGO!!!. The genre classification “smooth jazz” hadn’t even emerged yet in 1979, even though George Benson pretty much set the table for it with his “Breezin” LP. It was derisively called “Fuzak” back then.

April 13, 2019 at 4:51 pm Leave a comment

The Lady in my Life

This is my cover of “The Lady in my Life”, written by Rod Temperton, which was first released as a track on Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” in 1982. It was one of only two tracks on the album to NOT be released as a single. However, countless other artists have covered it.

April 12, 2019 at 3:05 pm Leave a comment

Night Train

Night Train” is a twelve-bar blues instrumental first recorded by Jimmy Forrest in 1951. It has been recorded and performed countless times, by musicians in virtually every genre.

The Ventures recorded at least two versions, the first released on their 1960 album “Walk Don’t Run” and the second on the 1964 album, “Walk Don’t Run ’64”.

My arrangement is not a cover of any one specific rendition, but incorporates elements of many.

November 4, 2018 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

Caravan

“Caravan” was composed by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington and first performed by Ellington in 1936.  Irving Mills wrote lyrics, but they are rarely sung.

It quickly became a jazz standard, frequently performed and recorded.

In 1960 the Ventures included the tune on their album “Walk Don’t Run”. It shortly became a staple of their live performances, featuring extended drum solos by Mel Taylor and later Leon Taylor.

My arrangement was inspired by the Ventures approach, although the drum break is fairly short.

 

August 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm Leave a comment

The Work Song

“The Work Song” was composed by jazz trumpter Nat Adderley (brother of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley). It first appeared as the title cut on his 1960 album. The tune was given lyrics and covered the following year by Oscar Brown Jr. on his album “Sin And Soul…and then some” and has become a standard in both vocal and instrumental forms.

Versions exist by many artists. It was recorded by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and the Ventures.

My version is instrumental guitar rock, but is not based on anyone else’s arrangements.

June 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

Dean’s Theme

“Dean’s Theme” was originally a track on the Shadows 1964 album “The Sound of the Shadows”. Songwriting credit is given to leader Hank Marvin and bassist John Rostill. It also appeared on an EP.

It’s an interesting tune, and while not unheard-of, it is not typical of their style, being in a “smoky jazz” feel. It also appears that the original recording did not involve rhythm guitarist Bruce Welch.

My version is pretty much a straight cover.

June 9, 2018 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Diem in Monimentum

“Diem in Monimentum” marks my return to Smooth Jazz. I’m not sure how long this return will last.

May 28, 2018 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

When I Fall in Love

When I Fall in Love” was written by Victor Young (music) and Edward Heyman (lyrics). It was first introduced in the 1952 film One Minute to Zero.  The song has become a standard, with many artists recording it, though the first hit version was sung by Doris Day released in July 1952.

My instrumental arrangement is in the style of a 60’s guitar rock group like the Shadows or Ventures.

May 20, 2018 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

Once I Loved

“Once I Loved” (“O Amor em Paz”) is a bossa nova jazz standard composed in 1960 by Antônio Carlos Jobim. The first recording was in 1961 by João Gilberto. Jobim himself recorded an instrumental version of the song in 1963. Frank Sinatra’s 1967 recording is probably the best known in the English-speaking world.

May 17, 2018 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

Hot Wings Blues

“Hot Wings Blues” is an original jazz/funk/fusion track. The bass line was inspired by Jaco’s work in “The Chicken”.

April 28, 2018 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

You Must Be

“You Must Be” is an experiment. Having just finished it, I’m not sure how I think it turned out. Perhaps you can let me know what you think.

The track is something of a mashup of several of my major influences: Smooth Jazz, Jazz Fusion, 80’s Pop Ballads, and Hank Marvin with the Shadows.

April 22, 2018 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves” was originally a 1945 French song, “Les Feuilles mortes” (literally “The Dead Leaves”), with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert.  With English lyrics by Johnny Mercer, it was recorded by artists such as Nat Cole and Frank Sinatra. As an instrumental, it became a jazz standard.

My instrumental arrangement is intended to sound as it might have if done by the Shadows.

March 18, 2018 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

The Shadow of Your Smile

The Shadow of Your Smile“, also known as “Love Theme from The Sandpiper“, was written by Johnny Mandel with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. The song was introduced in the 1965 film The Sandpiper, which was directed by Vincente Minnelli and starred Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

This lovely tune is now considered a standard, and has been recorded by countless artists, both vocal and instrumental. My instrumental version is done as the Shadows might have performed it in the mid-sixties.

March 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

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