Posts filed under ‘Straight-ahead jazz’

I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face

“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”, from the Lerner & Lowe musical “My Fair Lady”, is such a beautiful tune. BTW, please do not mistakenly think the title is actually “I’ve Thrown a Custard in Your Face”.

August 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Green Dolphin Street

“Green Dolphin Street” has been a staple of the straight-ahead jazz repertoire ever since Miles recorded it back in 1958. My arrangement is in a smooth-jazz vein, and I think it works pretty well. Great tune.

August 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Feverish 8 years later

This is a tune I wrote and first recorded almost 8 years ago. While going through some older material, I re-discovered it, and thought I’d take another crack at it.

February 20, 2015 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Blues for K. B.

My latest recording is a tribute to one of my favorite jazz guitarists, Kenny Burrell.

 

February 13, 2015 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

Over the Rainbow

Here is a live recording with my friend Stephanie Swan. Just voice and guitar:

January 30, 2015 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face

This is such a wonderful song from the classic musical, My Fair Lady. The melody and the changes are just beautiful, and the lyrics truly touching.

I felt the need to do one last thing before the semester starts on Monday. There isn’t much to this short solo, chord-melody arrangement, but I do think it is pretty.

 

*** Click here for transcription of arrangement ***

 

I’ve grown accustomed to her face
She almost makes the day begin
I’ve grown accustomed to the tune
She whistles night and noon

Her smiles, her frowns, her ups and downs
Are second nature to me now
Like breathing out and breathing in

I was serenely independent and content before we met
Surely I could always be that way again and yet
I’ve grown accustomed to her looks
Accustomed to her voice, accustomed to her face

She’s second nature to me now
Like breathing out and breathing in
I’m very grateful she’s a woman and so easy to forget

Rather like a habit one can always break and yet
I’ve grown accustomed to the trace of something in the air
Accustomed to her face

January 3, 2015 at 7:34 am Leave a comment

Cry Me A River

I really like this song, especially as originally recorded by Julie London backed by jazz great Barney Kessell, one of my guitar heroes and also a member of the Wrecking Crew.

I have been working with my friend, Stephanie Swan, on  a number of guitar/voice arrangements, and this is our first recording. Hopefully many more will follow.

This totally live effort features Stephanie handling the vocals while I am basically covering Kessell’s guitar backing.

[audio http://home.comcast.net/~drahcir.nilknarf/music/CryMeARiverLive.mp3]

December 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm 2 comments

Angels We Have Heard on High

Here we have the third new recording of the 2014 holiday season, the traditional carol “Angels We Have Heard on High”. I’ve given it a jazz-samba treatment.

[audio http://home.comcast.net/~drahcir.nilknarf/music/smooth/AngelsOnHigh.mp3]

 

December 15, 2014 at 7:50 am Leave a comment

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

So this is the second new recording of the 2014 holiday season, the traditional carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.

[audio http://home.comcast.net/~drahcir.nilknarf/music/smooth/GodRestYe.mp3]

 

This arrangement is similar to one I did a few years ago, but this one adds a piano part and an extended solo section. The basic feel is sort of a 1960’s light jazz vibe owing quite a bit to Wes Montgomery..

December 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment

Bright Size Life

Pat Metheny is one of the guitarists and musicians that I hold in the highest regard. Besides being  a great player and leader, he is one of jazz’ greatest composers as well. Bright Size Life is the title track of his debut album, released in 1976 on ECM, when Metheny was only 21. The album features Jaco Pastorius on bass.

I’ve recorded and released this composition before, but thought I’d take another crack at it in a quartet format. Mainly I just wanted to create some new backing tracks for myself so that I could play it more regularly.

[audio http://home.comcast.net/~drahcir.nilknarf/music/fusion/BrightSizeLifeQ.mp3]

 

September 28, 2014 at 7:17 am Leave a comment

Maiden Voyage Take II

I might also call this ‘Deep Purple does Herbie Hancock’.

This new recording of Maiden Voyage is based on a recording I did a couple of years ago, when I first started playing around with setting jazz standards over a rock feel.

However, this version takes things quite a bit further down the road to good, old-fashioned 60’s style hard rock, with the setting for guitar, B-3, bass and drums.

[audio http://home.comcast.net/~drahcir.nilknarf/music/fusion/MaidenVoyageB3.mp3]

 

June 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

Cry Me a River


This is my new arrangement and recording of the 50’s heart-breaker,
Cry Me a River.

Click here to listen

It was written by Arthur Hamilton and first published in 1953, and made famous in the version by Julie London, 1955.

A jazzy blues ballad, “Cry Me a River” was originally written for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the 1920s-set film, Pete Kelly’s Blues (released 1955), but the song was dropped. Fitzgerald first released a recording of the song on Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! in 1961. The song’s first release was by actress/singer Julie London in 1955, backed by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass. A performance of the song by London in the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It helped to make it a bestseller.

This is a clip of the original Julie London hit as featured in the movie:

A somewhat different version was a staple of Joe Cocker on his Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour:

 

November 17, 2013 at 8:22 am Leave a comment

Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance”

This recording is of my new arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s classic tune. I hope you dig it and please share!

Click here to listen

October 29, 2013 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

Pent-up House

One of the things I like to do is take a jazz standard an put it over a rock feel. That’s what we have here; Sonny Rollins classic “Pent-up House” done rock-style.

Click Here to Listen

July 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

Her Sweet Face

This track is the same tune I play unaccompanied on the 6-string bass and posted recently. For good measure, I appended that recording to the end of this new arrangement, and it ends things on a melancholy note. This is, basically, intended to be a wistful song. I’ve actually written lyrics for it, but my singing is so awful I am releasing it this way. Someday when no one is around, I may try to record a vocal:

Her sweet face
Made me smile
She had grace
She had style

She was never
out of place
Now it seems
that I miss her sweet face

It was like a guarantee
that she did love me

She was mine
That time and place
Now she’s gone
and I miss her sweet face

The new part of the arrangement is actually a straight-ahead swing feel, but the melody and chord changes are such that I think the sense of sadness still comes through. As usual, it is guitar, piano, bass and drums. By the way, I think the piano solo came out very well. I’m pleased with this, since I did not play it, but sequenced/composed/tweaked it in Sibelius.

Click here to listen to “Her Sweet Face”

And if you are wondering, yes, this is another song about how much I miss my dog who died a month ago.

July 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm Leave a comment


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