Saturday, December 28, 2013

Always On My Mind

For Christmas this year, my wife Celia wrote me a beautiful alpha poem that she put in Christmas ornament. Celia is a very talented writer of both non-fiction and short fiction,  and she knows how to craft a small number of words into a beautiful object.  An alpha poem is where the first letter of each line, when put together,  forms a word that defines the subject. In this case the word was "Soulmate". It was my favorite present. It applies as much to her as it does to me. I made a video of her poem and added my jazz piano cover of "Always On My Mind" as my heartfelt yet paltry contribution.   I should make sure that she knows that she is always on my mind....

by Celia Meloni Taylor

Such love is not

Often found, but somehow I have

Uncovered, in a brief chance meeting, a

Love for the ages, and a

Multitude of riches which multiply,

Arriving daily like gifts,

The precious devotion present

Every day of my life.

Always On My Mind

Maybe I didn't treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn't love you
Quite as often as I could have
Little things I should have said & done
I just never took the time

But you were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Maybe I didn't hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I'm so happy that you're mine
If I made you feel second best
Girl, I'm sorry I was blind

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me, tell me that your
Sweet love hasn't died
Give me, give me one more chance
To keep you satisfied

Little things I should have said & done
I just never took the time

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Geek Alert

I fashioned this arrangement using the Michael Buble version as a starting point.  I changed the key to F, which sounded like a better key for a purely instrumental version.  I also gave this a bit more of a gospel sound using a B3 instead of strings to back up the piano trio.  It made the gospel ending sound more like it fits also.  There is also a short double time section which would not have sounded good at all with strings.

Many (most) of the chords are re-harmoinzed.   Thanks to Ed for help on those!  I found in the end that I still needed to add in an extra tritone substitution to give it the bite that I wanted.  It is funny that when I was playing guitar,  I would use tritone substitutions all of the time.  Really,  I overused them because they seemed so natural and easy to do on guitar.  On the piano I have to force myself to remember to use them on the right occasion  because it doesn't seem as natural.   All part of the learning process I suppose...    

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming is an English translation of a German hymn from the late 16th century titled Es ist ein Ros entsprungen.  The song has been used by both Catholics and Protestants, with the focus of the song being Mary or Jesus, respectively. In addition, there have been several versions of the hymn, with varying words and lengths.

Although it has been covered by many people from Linda Ronstadt  to Sting,  I had never heard it  (or rather noticed it) as a Christmas song. My inspiration for this arrangement though, comes from a wonderful pastoral musician by the name of Rick Modlin.  Rick has an absolutely beautiful version of this song that somehow I have on my ipod.   Whenever it comes up on my Christmas playlist,  I always wonder two things:

1)  What is it doing there?  I don't recognize it as any of the regular jazz Christmas songs
2)  Who the heck arranged it and is playing it -  because it is awesome!

This year I decided that I should really look into it.  I found that it is this cat named Rick Modlin who is a very talented pianist and composer  who specializes in church and spiritual music.   All that I can say is that the spirit is really moving him on this song.  It has become one of my favorites,  and it translates very well to listening in non-Christmas mode also.

Rick Modlin

In case I don't get another post out before Christmas...

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Geek Alert

Don't expect to download the music to Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming and expect to get anything near this arrangement.  It took a while to figure out what Rick was doing here.  I ran his MP3 through band-in-a box chord analyzer to get a head start on what he  might be doing, and worked with Ed to fill in the blanks from there.

I tried to give a sense of the up-and-down flow during solo sections that the arrangement calls for,  while only having a fraction of the skill required.   You should listen to Rick's recording to hear a really well executed up-and-down flow.

I kind of like the sound of the single church bell with wind blowing through during the vamp sections.   I think  it gives kind of a religious feel, but not that overbearing.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Funny Valentine

My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you're my favourite work of art

Is your figure less than greek
Is your mouth a little weak
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But don't change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentines day

My Funny Valentine is a show tune from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical Babes in Arms.  My arrangement of My Funny Valentine  was inspired by the great Bill Charlap.  Charlap actually has two recordings of the song.  A nice ballad tempo version is on his Thou Swell album.

But his up-temp cut on the "Blues In The Night" CD has such an infectious swing groove that it inspired me to try my own arrangement.  It is amazing how easy he makes the arrangement and the improvising ideas sound.  I was really just able to use the rhythmic motif and a few nifty sounding ideas that he had, and that was about it.  Sometimes you just have to appreciate how good it sounds, and not try to figure out  what he's doing.      

I had my own funny valentine accompanying me on this tune.  You will hear the vocal stylings of  my son Cliff prominently featured on this recording.  He does make me ... smile with my heart ....

Bill Charlap

Geek Alert

I'm trying to make use of George Shearing chord voicings where the melody note is on the top and bottom of the chord, and the tensions are in the middle.  This gives a pretty full sound for a trio.  Bill Charlap is doing some  type of chord melody in his version,  but it is a bit more sophisticated  I'm sure.

One of the things that makes his treatment really pop is that he has finger snaps throughout.  I put these into mine too.   It really makes a difference!

One of the cool things that he does is to take the V chord of the minor ii-V  and bring it all the way down into the lower register  and then alter so that it sounds dark and dramatic.  I'm not sure what he's doing,  but I added a #5 to the V chord in one spot and it sounded like it had the right effect.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


There's a place for us, 
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There's a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!

We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
Some day,

...We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving ....

"Somewhere" is a song from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story that was made into a film in 1961. The music is composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This was always my favorite song from my all-time favorite musical.

In the movie, the song occurs after the rumble in which former Jets leader Tony has stabbed his girlfriend's brother, Bernardo. Having nowhere else to go, Tony runs to his girlfriend, Maria. Maria has just been told of her brother's death and who killed him. When Tony comes to her room through the balcony window, Maria, in shock, pounds against his chest.

Realizing in spite of her anger that she still loves Tony, Maria begs him to hold her. After Maria cries out, "It's not's everything around us." Tony replies, "Then I'll take you away, where nothing can get to us." He then begins singing "Somewhere" to her. His comforting voice draws her in and it becomes a duet of hope that their love will survive "somehow, someday, somewhere."

But much more memorably for me, Maria sings the first few lines of the song as Tony dies in her arms.

After 9/11/2001,  I've heard this song played beautifully at 9/11 memorial services.  It seems like such an appropriate way to reflect on the senseless hatred that tears people apart.   It really is a song that will live on and be re-interpreted many ways.

I wanted to post my version of  Somewhere as a remembrance on 9/11.     Honestly, it is hard to listen to anyone play or sing this song and to view these images.

I was inspired to try a solo version of Somewhere by listening to the great Bill Charlap's recording. It had a lot of interesting chord voicings and dynamics, but not any crazy improvisation. It stays very true to the emotion of the song. Really compelling to listen to, especially when you know that he has all of those chops at his disposal.

Another really inspiring moment was when Candace Glover sang this on American Idol. Yes, I admit that I'm an American Idol fan :-) It was really awe inspiring. I'm sure that it is on Youtube, so check it out if you haven't heard it.

Geek Alert

My piano teacher Ed and I spent two lessons coming up with the arrangement for this. Matching up chords with ascending/descending bass lines, what color for the phrases, the voicings hitting the melody notes just right - took some doing. It is a short song, but there is a ton of music theory thrown in there (at least for me).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

That Sunday, That Summer

If I had to choose just one day
To last my whole life through
It would surely be that Sunday
The day that I met you

Newborn whippoorwills were calling from the hills
Summer was a-coming in but fast
Lots of daffodils were showing off their skills
Nodding all together, I can almost hear them whisper

Go on kiss her, go on and kiss her

If I had to choose one moment
To live within my heart
It would be that tender moment
Recalling how we started
Darling, it would be when you smiled at me
That way, that Sunday, that summer

Go on kiss her, go on and kiss her

And if I had to choose just one moment
To live within my heart
It would surely be that moment
Recalling how we started
Darling it would be when you smiled at me
That way, that Sunday, that summer
(If I had to choose just one day)

Serendipity - Back in April of this year,  I was lamenting in one of my blog posts that I was never able to find the music for one of my favorite Nat "King" Cole songs:  That Sunday, That Summer.  As with all of the songs on Nat's Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Day of Summer album, the song reminds me so much of my parents.

I love That Sunday, That Summer more than the others on the album because the composition by Joe Sherman and George David Weiss is just so beautiful and memorable.

Well, what turns up out of the blue back in April, but a post from a new friend named Jan in the Netherlands who ran across my blog and sent me the sheet music to That Sunday, That Summer!  Thank you Jan.  Maybe that was a message from beyond that I needed to do a recording and post about this song.
I have a few good versions of this song by other singers and piano players besides Nat.  The one that I've always listened to the most is by Cheryl Conley,  because she has a pianist named Bobby Pierce on the record who just kills it.  Bobby plays one of the all around best ballad piano solos that I've ever heard.  

Recently, though, I downloaded a bossa version done by singer Zena James.  This is really nice -  weaving in some excellent sax and piano solos - and it inspired me to try my arrangement as a bossa. 

I also felt that I needed to play both guitar and piano in order to make this work.   I can't have any virtual musicians do the melody for me, and I really wanted the first melody to be on guitar, so it was up to me.

I hope this feels like summer to you.   I sure felt summer playing it.....

Nat "King" Cole

Zena James

Cheryl Conley

Geek Alert

For the guitar,  I'm using my D'Angelico New Yorker recorded through a Scarlettt 2i/4 to the PC.  I am recording using Realband and Amplitube with the  "Soft Jazz Echo"  amp settings.

The way this is arranged is that the first verse is guitar melody.  The second verse is piano melody/improv. The  third verse is trading between the guitar and piano,  but not on even numbers of bars.  It trades more on where it sounds like it flows better with the song.   Finally, it vamps out into a fade.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Can't Make You Love Me

Turn down the lights, turn down the bed 
Turn down these voices inside my head 
Lay down with me, tell me no lies 
Just hold me close, don't patronize - don't patronize me 

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't 
You can't make your heart feel something it won't 
Here in the dark, in these final hours 
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power 
But you won't, no you won't 
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't 

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see 
The love you don't feel when you're holding me 
Morning will come and I'll do what's right 
Just give me till then to give up this fight 
And I will give up this fight 

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't 
You can't make your heart feel something it won't 
Here in the dark, in these lonely hours 
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power 
But you won't, no you won't 
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

Earlier this summer,  our family was treated to a wonderful roughly-annual gathering of family and friends in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania that we call the "Bloom in June" party.  This is an outdoor blowout on the banks of the Susquehanna river that lasts all weekend.  Drinks are a big part of the event, food is sometimes an afterthought,  but the star of the show is the music.  There are musicians far and wide:  professionals, amateurs, and those who will get up the nerve after a few drinks.   This year the music was exceptionally good.

We were treated to the headlining efforts of the up and coming band from North Carolina named  New Sweat.   Please check out their web site if you get a chance.  You'll be blown away.

At one point during the weekend,  I had the pleasure of playing an R&B slow jams set with two of the members of New Sweat.  It was Doug McCullough on vocals and Fender Rhodes (sound),  me on jazz guitar,  and Taylor Cummings on drums.  That was a blast!

One of the songs that we did that really stuck with me was I Can't Make You Love Me.   This, of course, is one of the most popular songs ever,  and is described by many song writers as the song that they wish they had written.   The song was written in 1991 by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin, and immortalized by Bonnie Raitt on her Luck of the Draw album. I don't play guitar much anymore, but I will tell you... that song sounded sooo sweet as an R&B slow jam with jazz soloing.

It got me to wondering whether it was possible to do that song completely as a jazz-influenced instrumental.
In my mind you could not do the normal jazz cover things with this song.   With a normal jazz cover,  you would choose a song that was interesting harmonically to start with, and then make more interesting chord substitutions.  Then you would use the first verse to expose the melody,  while launching into improvisation directions that might make the song difficult to identify in subsequent verses.   All the while, the rhythmic motif is most likely radically different than the original.

Well,  none of that will work here.  This song is defined by the beauty of the lyrics and how the rising and falling dynamics flow with the simple melody and harmony.  It is all in one key with little differentiation.  If you are going to make it work,  the listener has to be singing it in her/his head the entire time.   The (unsung) lyrics and the essential dynamics have to be there otherwise it is lost.

So here is what I set out to do:

Use the piano as the lead vocalist.  The piano part needed to stay true to the melody throughout,  while also playing the role of the traditional piano comp part.  There were some additional new voicings thrown in but not much.

The drums and bass  kept to a country flavored rhythm that was pretty similar to the original Bonnie Raitt version.

The guitar part needed to act as the background singer,  providing harmony on the "vocals".   I heard this done to great effect by instrumentalists on a cut of this tune by Kevin Mahogany.  The background singer also doubled the "vocals" in many instances.    I also needed to provide some additional backing color by noodling around so that some sections didn't get too boring (not sure if I succeeded).

Then I needed to play the big guitar solo in the middle.   This was quite a technical trial.  I have never figured out how to record my guitar.  I have been recording the piano with a cheap plastic Zoom H2  recorder all of this time,  and it has done the job OK.  It just does not work for the guitar,  however.  There is always noise,  cracks, clipping,  fading and just generally poor sound quality.  So I was determined to actually figure out how to record directly into the computer.    It was not easy,  I will tell you that!

The first thing that I figured out is that I already had an incredible piece of software called Amplitube,  that came with Band-In-a-Box.  If you can actually get your guitar recorded  with a good clean signal,  you can digitally add almost any kind of amps/pedals/effects to it,  as though you had the equipment.

For this recording,  I am using my DeAngelico New Yorker jazz guitar with all Country audio hardware for the "Country Quarter Pulse" sound that you see depicted below.        

That is all well and good,  except I had no way to get a clean recording into the computer in the first place.  For this I had to get something called a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 Audio interface.   I plug the guitar into it and it plugs into the computer via a USB cable.   I then had to figure out how to get this to work with the Realband product,  the Amplitube plugin and all of the various drivers.  I wanted to hang myself!  The irony is that after days of being able to spend a couple of minutes at a time,  when I finally figured it out,  the guitar solo was a one-take-wonder.  Maybe I should have spent more time on that part of it :-)

Bonnie Raitt

Kevin Mahogany

Geek Alert

Yes,  I know the song is kind of long.   It is only twice through,  but I did find four bars here and there to remove from  my arrangement.   Eight  bars are removed in total.  You may also notice that the drum beat changes just during the solo.   In order to make sure that the song dynamics hit home, I added cymbal rolls and bell trees in the appropriate spots.   As usual, dogs and people slamming doors can always be heard if you listen closely :-)

Final Update 

Here is a head-scratcher.  I have been hosting my MP3 files on Dropbox for this blog.  When I upload my cover of I Can't Make You Love Me,  the public link only work for a couple of hours and then just seems to be disabled.  Even if I rename the song to something unrecognizable, the same thing happens.   I have a feeling that Dropbox is programmatically searching  for songs ripped from CDs and then shared to the public.  Then disabling the links that it finds.   I can still download and play it privately, just not publicly. Maybe I should be honored that they mistook my song for the real thing!  I switched to another hosting site and hopefully this works.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

See See Rider

"See See Rider", also known as "C.C. Rider" or "See See Rider Blues" or "Easy Rider" is a popular American 12-bar blues song. It was first recorded by Gertrude "Ma" Rainey in 1924, and since then has been recorded by many other artists. The song uses mostly traditional blues lyrics to tell the story of an unfaithful lover, commonly called easy riders: "See See rider, see what you have done," making a play on the word see and the sound of easy.

The term "See See Rider" is usually taken as synonymous with "easy rider." I would like to be able to tell you exactly what the lyrics mean, but after a bit of research, it is clear that there are as many theories as there are lyrics.  So I'm not going to wade into that discussion for this post.

My inspiration for this attempt at See See Rider was the late, great Tommy Flanagan.  Recently I realized that after all of this time taking lessons,  I've never played a basic 12-bar major blues.  I did a minor blues original number once,  but never a good 'ole core 12-bar blues.  That probably explains a lot :-(

When I think of playing the blues on piano though,  I don't think of playing blues piano.  That sounds like a dumb statement.  What I mean by that is:  Blues piano is separate art form.  If you look at instructional videos on the internet, or listen to players in a blues band,  you see that the approach to playing is a style all its own.  

When I think of how I would love to sound playing the blues, I think of Tommy Flanagan.  Tommy played in a very bluesy style,  and you could hear the roots influence,  but he still brought those clever voicings and jazz quality to the song.  One music reviewer described Tommy's blues  as "so deep that they are almost purple".  I have always loved his rendition of See See Rider,  so I tried to steal as much of the arrangement as I could from what he was doing on the recording.   See See Rider was on Tommy's final album (1997) titled Sea Changes.

As an accompanist, Tommy worked with Ella Fitzgerald from 1963 to 1965 and 1968 to 1978.  Because he is best known as Ella's accompanist,  he doesn't really get the credit he deserves(IMHO) as a jazz pianist.  In the two decades before he died he performed almost exclusively in small ensembles such as the one on See See Rider with  bassist Peter Washington and drummer Louis Nash.

Geek Alert

This is a 12 bar blues in C with a number Tommy-esque embellishments in the arrangement.  The unaccompanied intro starts with Eb blues, C blues, F blues, C blues.  Tommy uses a number of four or 5  chord turnarounds that I've tried to use as well.  For instance C-Am-Dm7-G7  right before going into the melody,  or C-F7 shell 1- F7 shell 2- Dm7- Am7/G is one that is used often.

You will also hear that some of the chords are changed into a chromatic run starting on Dm7, and other chords are changed into minor ii-Vs.   This is all pure Tommy stuff.

I tried to keep a rootsy blues feel to it while doing some of the solos with an eye towards not just the blues/pentatonic/dorian modes but also a little bit of altered scale stuff in there too.    

Ma Rainey lyrics:

See see rider, see what you have done, Lord, Lord, Lord
Made me love you, now your gal has come
You made me love you, now your gal has come

I'm goin' away, baby, I won't be back till fall, Lord, Lord, Lord
Goin' away, baby, won't be back till fall
If I find me a good man, won't be back at all

I'm gonna buy me a pistol, just as long as I am tall, Lord, Lord, Lord
Shoot my man, and catch a cannonball
If he won't have me, he won't have no gal at all

See See Rider, where did you stay last night? Lord, Lord, Lord
Your shoes ain't buttoned and your clothes don't fit you right
You didn't come home till the sun was shining bright

Friday, March 29, 2013

Round Midnight

It begins to tell  
'Round midnight, midnight
I do pretty well, 'till after sundown
Suppertime, I'm feelin' sad;
But it really does get bad,
'Round midnight.

"'Round Midnight" is a 1944 jazz standard by pianist Thelonious Monk with lyrics by Cootie Williams and Bernard Hanighen.  It is the most-recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician. In it appears in over 1000 albums. The song is also called "'Round About Midnight".  My version of Round Midnight was inspired by the great Marlena Shaw.

I have always liked Marlena's singing,  but I only ever had one song of hers.  It was her hysterical version of "Go Away Little Boy".   Well,  I was browsing used CDs at Newbury Comics with my son one day,  and I came across Marlena's Elemental Soul for $1.99!  When I looked at the liner notes,  I saw that she was playing with one of my favorite piano players: David Hazeltine.  Things were getting better and better.  For a buck 99 I had to have this CD.

I was not disappointed.  This has turned out to be a real treasure trove of great jazz.  It also turned me on to another exceptional piano player:  Barnaby Finch.  I had never heard of him before, but he was playing on Marlena's take of 'Round Midnight.

This song is an instantly recognizable classic,  and I have always wanted to be able to play it.  But I've stayed away from it like the plague because it is just too damn hard.   There are so many wonderful cuts of this (my historical favorite has always been Carmen McRae) that it makes your head spin.  Each one makes it seem more difficult than the next.  I really never came up with a concept about how I would approach it with my limited skills.

But then I heard Marlena and Barnaby and a light went off.  The smooth jazz kind of groove was something that was speaking to me.   The groove in my arrangement is different than theirs,  but the influence is definitely there. 

If you get a chance to pick up Elemental Soul,  I highly recommend it.

1 Your Mind Is On Vacation
2 Paint Your Pretty Picture
3 How Deep Is The Ocean
4 Where Do You Start?
5 Once Again We've Begun To Love
6 Handy Man
7 Why, Oh Why
8 Brothers
9 'Round Midnight
Lyrics By – Bernard Hanighen*, Cootie Williams
Music By – Thelonious Monk
10 I'm Alone Again
11 My Old Flame
12 Our Love Is Here To Stay

Marlena Shaw

Barnaby Finch

Geek Alert

In order to make the arrangement into a cool smooth jazz number,  I doubled the time to 100 bpm and expanded the song so that each measure is now two measures.   I also added in a guitar comp that can be used with a piano player in these kind of arrangements.  There are soooo many chord changes and altered chords in here, that I fear that it is too clashy.  You be the judge.  

I also had some difficult staying away from the bass notes in my playing.   Had I been playing with a real bass player,  I'm sure I would have been slapped.  But I was conscious of it, and really tried to dial back as much bass as my fingers let me.

You will hear a lot of right hand octaves.  Barnaby Finch did that a few times in his solo for Marlena Shaw, and it sounded so awesome that I had to throw those in.  Overdone of course,  but I was just lovin' it!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Romance

To Celia

Drink to me, only, with thine eyes, 

And I will pledge with mine; 
Or leave a kisse but in the cup, 
And Ile not look for wine. 
The thirst, that from the soule doth rise, 
Doth aske a drink divine: 
But might I of Jove's Nectar sup, 
I would not change for thine. 
I sent thee, late, a rosie wreath, 
Not so much honoring thee, 
As giving it a hope, that there 
It could not withered be. 
But thou thereon did'st onely breathe, 
And sent'st it back to mee: 
Since when it growes, and smells, I sweare, 
Not of it selfe, but thee.

- Robert Burns: The Poetry (1896)

Happy Valentine's Day!  It is the most romantic day of the year- the day when men desperately try to find the right expressions of love for the women that are their heart's desire.

It is a day for chocolates, cards, flowers, romantic dinners,  big teddy bears, expensive gifts, jewelry - what other ideas can we come up with guys?   If you have the right woman though,  it is really the thought that counts.   What can be better in the "thought"  category than poetry, music,  or anything created with love of her in mind?  

This is the spirit with which I arranged and recorded  My Romance, one of the most romantic songs ever composed.  I wish that I could sing like James Taylor (who has a great vocal version of this song),  but I can't.  I wish that I could write romantic  poetry like Robert Burns, but I can't.  All I can do is play hack amateur jazz,  but if it is truly the thought that counts then the message should be bursting through....

                                I Love you Celia
Celia Meloni Taylor

World's most beautiful woman

                                                     World's most beautiful bride

"My Romance" music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart

My romance doesn't have to have a moon in the sky
My romance doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by
No month of May, no twinkling stars, no hideaway, no soft guitars

My romance doesn't need a castle rising in Spain
Nor a dance to a constantly surprising refrain
Wide awake I can make my most fantastic dreams come true
My romance doesn't need a thing but you

My romance doesn't need a castle rising in Spain
Nor a dance to a constantly surprising refrain
Wide awake I can make my most fantastic dreams come true
My romance doesn't need a thing but you

Geek Alert

The arrangement and pacing for My Romance was inspired by the excellent version recorded by Brad Mehldau on his Introducing Brad Mehldau album. I got some good ideas for the intro and exit solo from Ed. He suggested using a trick from Gershwin, which is to employ lush major chords following a diminished progression (F-Ab-B-D in this case). I also took a piece of a jazz etude transcription from him for a nice sound over the final G7b9 chord in the opening solo. I had some versions of this with more runs and notes, but it didn't sound as tasteful or romantic to me, so I went with the less-is-more approach.