Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ruby, My Dear III

Every once in a while,  I have to go back to the drawing board to re-try old favorites to see if I can notice any difference in what I'm able to bring to the song.  

The song that made me want to take up the piano in the first place is Ruby, My Dear by Thelonious Monk.   You can read all about it in my blog post from 2011: Ruby, My Dear from 2011.

That 2011 attempt to play Ruby was already my second try.  I shudder to think what the first attempt sounded like,  since I must have been only playing a few weeks when I insisted on playing it for my first recital.  You can tell from the 2011 attempt that I'm not really even trying to play those harder Monk voicings,  and letting the "band" carry most of the weight.  

This song is one of my inspirations for innovation.   I keep a framed copy of the lead sheet in my office at work,  and one at home.  I was looking at it the other day and the inspiration hit me that it might be time to see what I can do with this song now.

Ruby at Work

This latest run at Ruby, My Dear is a solo effort.  The piano hasn't been tuned in a looonnnggg time, but who's compositions are better to play on a questionably tuned piano than Monk's?   I'm making much more of an effort to use those rich Monk-ish sounding voicings at tempo and to use that enigmatic intro and ending.   When I listen to the two takes, 5 years apart,  I can notice some maturity in the approach to the song.  You may like the earlier one better because of the band,  but this latest one definitely has a lot more piano content in it.

One thing is for sure though,  I can't wait until I'm ready for for Ruby, My Dear IV !

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