Broken Frost (3/17/07 #1)

2:09 minutes

A dark bird is flying, testing the cold air just before spring. Some life might emerge from the still-frozen ground, but it might be too early to survive.

Art Musings - Glass and Steel

Another Kasey Baker painting, in response to my piano musings.

Glass and Steel is about a particularly tragic automobile accident.

Glass and Steel

"There is a stillness after destruction that is peaceful and stunning."

Australian Community Television

Another example of how the Creative Commons is cool - I heard from a "Captain" Pat McGeown, who is producing a community television show in Sydney, Australia. He'll be using one of my piano musings, Old Toy Soldier as part of a soundtrack for one of his episodes. There's a brief article about it here, and in a few weeks the episode will be up online and I'll have it here.


With my jazz-singing trio and my more progressive trippy trio, helped out by Turmell and Morelli in the first, and Turmell and Morgan in the second, it just hit me - I am in two trios with three Steves.

Music for MLK Day

If any of you are looking for music to listen to on Martin Luther King Day, I have a couple that I listen to that I like quite a lot:

  • New Morning For The World: 'Daybreak Of Freedom' is a gorgeous piece for full orchestra and narrator, narrating excerpts of several of Martin Luther King's speeches. I listen to a recording from this cd.
  • Local jazz pianist Darrell Grant has a cd that came out in the last year called Truth and Reconciliation. There's a piece, "I Shall Believe", that is a loose cover of the Sheryl Crow tune, and it has historical archive audio footage of speeches by JFK and Martin Luther King.

I listen to them every year on MLK Day.

Crashes and Rehearsals

Well, about a week ago my hard drive died and that was a lot of fun. I didn't lose anything in the way of music - just two revisions of one of my piano musings, when the one I wanted to keep is still around. And some recordings from my jazz trio rehearsals, but I've already uploaded them on a website so I still have them. Still, annoying. I think I've just about decided to invest more in to an actual desktop computer system so I have some redundancy.

The other advantage of that is that I will be able to start getting back into multitracking. Right now the only multitracked song I have is Together, and I'd like to do more of it.

Saturday night, I recorded some more versions of All Aboard and Balancing Above The Air, with the intention of finally getting demo-quality songs that I could put up on I didn't quite get there, but it was still nice to come up with a couple more versions I can listen to and examine. These recordings have piano and drums. I might upload them here in the future - still letting them sink in.

Rehearsing Originals

I just tried playing through I Have A Cold, Balancing Above The Air, and My Favorite Clown, one right after the other. Oy. It's been too long since I've played them through. And I don't think I've ever played them through back to back before. I've got to practice those more regularly. I just put myself on a schedule to do it every three days.

Trio Rehearsal

First rehearsal of the trio went well. The bassist hosts and has everything set up in his basement, so it's really cushy that way - even the drummer didn't have to haul anything. We worked on Where Or When, Ain't Misbehavin', But Beautiful, Comes Love, Desafinado, I Could Write A Book, and Under My Skin. There's so much I don't know! A few impressions, both from last night, and from listening to the recordings today:

Desafinado sounds really good with just drums, bass, and voice. I brought in the piano after the A section was done and it sounded really good that way.

I feel weirdly more creative in my solos on the latin tunes. (We're doing But Beautiful as a bossa.)

Comes Love has been really hard for me to do solo - just voice and piano - but it's really fun as a trio.

It's tough to find a good tempo for Under My Skin. I wanted it to be more peppy, but it just really wants to lay back the way we're doing it.

I gotta breathe more. When I don't know a tune, I don't breathe as deeply, and then my singing tone is thin and I go sharp.

Overall, really fun - I'm looking forward to the next rehearsal. I think this will inspire me to work on jazz a lot more than my last band did - the smaller combo is better for me, partly because the three of us felt comfortable talking a lot about what it meant to play jazz. Lots of learning opportunity here.

A Little Moonlight

Just uploaded a silly little recording of "What A Little Moonlight Can Do" in the Standards section... have a listen if you have the password.

Starting A Jazz Trio

Looks like the year is starting out right. One of my goals has been to have an outlet for practicing jazz singing and jazz piano in a trio format, and I appear to have that now. I'll be starting regular rehearsals with some good players here in town. The players will be rotating a bit, but I've got the core members in place. First rehearsal is tonight!

I'll probably be regularly creating rehearsal recordings and will be uploading the better ones over in standards. If you want to hear, drop me an email and I can shoot you the password.

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© 2007 Curt Siffert. Some audio protected with a Creative Commons license.
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