Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Twenty-Ten Tunes.

It's time.

A few new tunes to grace your January ears.

I've kept the songs that will always be on the playlist (The Great Pumpkin Waltz, Pumpkintime) as well as two which always garner such nice comments (Peace, Grim Grinning Groove), and as I mentioned a few weeks back, the delightful Heartburn Waltz will remain through Valentine's Day.

As for the new stuff...

First up is a real Fall-reminder for me. When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time with my cousins and their friends, one of whom was a fine drummer and a jazz nut like me. We'd spend hours trying to learn tunes and improvise, and learned a lot from each other. And he had a great collection of jazz LPs.

One we listened to most frequently was Great Guitars of Jazz (MGM1971) , a compilation of tunes from some of the finest guitarists around; Moon & Sand, a bit of bossa nova beauteousness performed by the masterful Kenny Burrell, was the opening cut, and it always reminds me of drizzly Fall weekends, walking between houses carrying instruments and talking about music and girls and school and all the Autumn things young boys ponder.

Then, the main title track to 1964's fabulous The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, which starred Tony Randall as a Chinese fakir and six other denizens of his menagerie. The film was scored by the legendary film composer Leigh Harline (1907-1969); in case that name isn't immediately familiar to you, just think of When You Wish Upon A Star, Someday My Prince Will Come, and other Disney classics (as well as dozens of films for other studios during the 50's and 60's). His score for Dr. Lao is one of my favorites, and the film is always very Autumnal to me in a Bradbury-esque way; circus magic, dark attractions, self-realizations, fearful discoveries of our failings, delightful discovery of our ability to forgive, befriend, and create magic ourselves...

Lastly, a personal need. I am sitting up in bed, nursing sore muscles from long travels, feeling a little sick and wishing it wasn't quite so snowy and 10-degrees-y outside. I kind of wish for a bit of late Summer calm to relax and get well. Ships, Sails & the Sea is a three-ish minute slice of an ambient sound piece I made for my pirate birthday party in July of 2006. The original track is over an hour long, a pure sound painting made from numerous audio files and effects I gleaned from years of doing such things. Just listen... think of sunny, breezy afternoons aboard a wooden hulled beauty. Perhaps one of the more musical deckhands is playing his concertina up in the rigging.


But remember, no matter how sunny or bright the outside world can be, here at the ol' S&P, it will be like this:

... until April!


Enjoy the music, as ever.

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