Monday, December 27, 2010

In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning

Here I am, snowed in during the Northeastern U.S. Christmas Blizzard of 2010. Most of my family is snowed in at a different location.  So I picked out a great ballad that I would like to learn.  Nobody had to be tortured hearing me practice it either!
The song In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning was made famous by Frank Sinatra, but was composed by Bob Hilliard and David Mann.  The way that I hear it in my head,  it starts out with a solo piano verse, and then the band kicks in for a few improv verses.  It then goes back to the melody and finishes up the last few bars as solo piano again.  This is not easy to do when your bandmates are digital!

Normally,  I would not put one of these practice recordings out on the blog without having gone over it with my piano teacher, Ed.  Ed will help me with figuring out better chord substitutions, and new ways of thinking about what would sound OK in the tune.  But I'm posting this one sans any voice of musical reason.  Maybe I'll re-post it when I get some good feedback about what to do differently.

I have two vocal versions of this song on my iPOD from Jamie Cullum and Kevin Mahogany.  It is just a beautiful melody.

This time the band is P.J. Perry on Tenor,  Neil Swainson on bass, Terry Clark on Drums, and Ron King on Trumpet.

Trumpeter, composer, band leader, and Grammy nominee Ron King is one of L.A.'s top studio players, as evidenced by awards from the IAJE, NAJE, ASCAP, and the RMA.  He has been heard on gold record performances by George Benson, Ricki Lee Jones, and Marvin Gaye with other credits including Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Keely Smith, Jeremy Lubbock, David Foster, Jeff Lorber, Michael Bolton, Queen Latifah, Brian Simpson, and Michael Paulo.  

Ron has played for countless movie, television, and commercial soundtracks, including "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, "The Jimmy Kimmel Live" television show, ABC's "The Next Best Thing", and the movies "Children of a Lesser God", and "Ocean's 11."  Onstage, he has performed with The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Bill Holman, Clayton Hamilton, and Don Menza big bands while also leading his own big band and quartet.

A California native, he graduated from California State University Los Angeles with a Major in Music and a Minor in Musicology.  For more about Ron King, please visit his web site at

Kevin Mahogany's excellent CD......

Kevin Mahogany Another Time Another Place CD

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