Wednesday, December 21, 2011

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest you merry, Gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Savior
Was born upon this Day.
To save poor souls from Satan's power,
Which long time had gone astray.
Which brings tidings of comfort and joy.

Merry Christmas everyone!  This arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is done with a modern jazz trio and some guest soloists on tenor and trumpet.

The excellent players on this take are Terry Clarke on Drums, Neil Swainson on Bass, PJ Perry on Tenor and 
Brad Turner on Trumpet.  

Geek Alert

The more modern sound of melody line is done using 4ths and a pedal bass.  (Thanks Ed!  Great idea)

You may notice that I'm using a minor line cliche as the entry, exit and turnaround vamp.  For some reason, that seemed to beg for a quote of My Funny Valentine in the solo of the song. 
Modern jazz seems harder to synchronize with mixing software because there is not always an identifiable downbeat for a reference point.  But I love the way this winds up sounding!      

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

It is now 2:00 AM on January 1 2012.  Hamburg, Germany.  GMT+1 hour.  There are still some people left in this bar.   Lets play Auld Lang Syne for the last song.  Goodbye pitiful 2011.  Hello hopeless 2012.  I'll make the chord voicings as dark as possible for the first verse (2011) and last verse (2012) and see if anyone notices.  Nobody is listening anyway.

Could there be a year more devoid of hope for humanity than 2012 with the inevitable crash of the Euro, and the end of the American Experiment?  I don't know, it is probably just the gift of middle age pharmaceuticals talking, ...all... of which cause thoughts of suicide if you believe the TV commercials.

Ha.  If anyone were listening, they would probably be wondering why I'm playing "Nehmt Abschied BrĂ¼der", which is what Auld Lang Syne is called in Germany.  It is a farewell song for the scouts, not really a New Years song.        

Ah, it's over.  Blessed ambivalence.  Go home now.

(Just kidding -  Have a happy New Year everyone!)

Geek Alert
The beginning and end of the song is re-harmonized with a lot of minor 6th and minor/major chords for the dark feeling.  Thanks Ed!  I've been trying songs mostly with accompaniment lately, but this one seemed to call for a solo piano effort.  

Yes - this background ambiance is actually from a bar in Hamburg in case you were wondering....