Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life

My first exposure to this gorgeous ballad came by way of  a funny story.  What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life was my sister-in-law Cathleen (aka Cathy, aka Kat) and her husband Carl's wedding song many years ago.  It was a great wedding. They had a really nice jazz combo for their wedding band.  The band leader was a friend of the family.  He was a young guy who was a doctor by trade and played jazz piano as a sideline.  He was an excellent player and the band was hot. 

When it came time for the wedding song, however, he realized that he did not know how to play this standard!  (It was either that or the couple of fatties the band lit up during the break :-))  

So who jumped in to save the day -  my mother-in-law - mother of the bride - the great pianist Celia Pierro Meloni!  (listen to my blog post of  "No One But You" to hear one of her original compositions).  So as the married couple were taking their first dance,  Mom was playing with the young guys in a jazz combo while the piano player looked on sheepishly.  Of course she did a great job.  I don't even know if she had music, or just played it from memory,  but this is when it first struck me what a great song this is. 

Over the years, I've accumulated some excellent versions of the tune.  This is still one of my favorites to play on the guitar.  I played it once with my brother-in-law John as a guitar/flute duo after several rounds of Irish whiskey.  I thought it sounded great, but I seriously doubt that it did. The quintessential guitar cut is by Pat Martino on his Footprints album.  I love the vocal version by the singing dentist, Linda Woodson.   And of course, who can argue with the genius of Bill Evans.

Linda Woodson

Bill Evans playing What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life

Pat Martino

My version is done as a piano trio with Neil Swainson on acoustic bass and Craig Scott drums.  I hope you like it.

Geek Alert

I got some wonderful ideas from Ed for the intro and ending.   I'm happy with how the ending came out, although it was tough to do.  I needed to play a few technical tricks to have it come out the way Ed and I talked about it. 

Hey - Cliff is in there again.  See if you can find him.  Its like Where's Waldo.

1 comment:

  1. Ken,

    As always, you do a beautiful job as the leader of your various "ensembles". The double time improvised section is a perfect complement to the slow ballad tempo for the melody.
    Keep up the great work.