At My Old School

At My Old School

Hey gang!  Great news!  I have restarted the project “At My Old School”. I will upload finished tracks here as I complete them. The album is meant to be “jazz fusion” in the genre of some of my personal heroes of old such as Spyro Gyra, Yellowjackets, Rippingtons, and other typical jazz fusion bands of the 70s and 80s. In no way am I attempting to put myself at their level (the bar is too dang high for that!). But at least this is my attempt to express creativity along those lines.

  1. Bonsai Tree – This song was originally conceived on grand piano as a solo piano piece.  It was written somewhere around 1990 or so.  So here we are ~27 years later and I’m finally getting around to arranging a version of it with full accompaniment.  Some people when they first hear this song mysteriously believe it is “Linus and Lucy” (you know…the Charlie Brown Theme) and I’ve had so many people say this that I’ve given up trying to figure out why they believe this?  To me, I simply sat at the grand piano one day and came up with a cool piece mostly written on the black keys (which gives it that oriental sounding scale). This particular arrangement was rendered on the Yamaha Motif XF-8 keyboard (and I really have no plans to render it on the Tyros 5…too much work).
  2. Currents – This song goes even further back to right around 1988 when I had just graduated college and was playing around with instrumental music in my parents basement (hadn’t moved out yet).  I believe I used a Roland R8 drum machine, a Yamaha TX-81Z, an Ensoniq Mirage, and an Atari ST1040 computer to sequence all the tracks.  Crazy but true.  I’ll try to upload a rather hideous example of the original recording (if I can stomach it).  The concept of the song is indeed in the original recording, but the recording quality itself leaves much to be desired.  Anyway… This particular arrangement was rendered on the Yamaha Motif XF-8 keyboard (and I really have no plans to render it on the Tyros 5…too much work).
  3. Progress – Hoo boy…how to describe this one. In a sentence: If machines could sing, this is what I envision they would sound like. I will provide a muuuuch more detailed description when I officially release this album.Currently this tune needs a ripping screaming solo in the middle (the double time part). We shall see who I can find to help with that!
  4. Walkabout Redux – long ago, when I was toying with the idea of a “fusion jazz” album, I came up with a rather primitive example and then promptly waited a few years and then produced Palouse. Walkabout Redux is simply a re-imagining of the original tune and a deliberate attempt to write and record a great song using a minimum of instruments (drums, bass, wurlitzer e-piano, B3 organ, and acoustic piano…and that’s it!).
  5. Mancave Strut – Was goofing around with a Steinway piano library on my Yamaha Tyros 5 and came up with this fusion funk tune. This track will ALSO be the last track on “Tales from the Green Room“.
  6. Stony Ground – Very interesting latin tune that started out life as a solo piano piece. This track will ALSO be the last track on “Tales from the Mancave“.
  7. Introspection – It was the twins 17th birthday. Couldn’t sleep that night. Plinked around on the Tyros 5 and I found this song that only had drums and piano recorded. I pounded out the bass, rhodes, and flute and here is the result. Ooh…almost forgot: note the way-cool fretless bass solo starting around 1:30.
  8. JJ – Wrote this weird little tune and thought of Joe Jackson. That is all.
  9. The Blends (Hoppin’ the Jack) – Somewhere around May, 2016, I started moonlighting at a local restaurant. What a blast! I love the staff, the guests, the environment, the food, the drinks, the whole enchilada, so to speak. As I worked various shifts, I began to notice a pleasing background noise when the joint was happy and bustling. I also had (in my back pocket) a tune that makes me think of the “journey” of a typical dinner “hour” (usually a 2-3 hour period of rush). The instrumental music is meant to sort of describe what it is we’re trying to do in the restaurant biz: have enough qualified staff on hand at any time to handle the amount of guests that will come through those doors. We sometimes liken it to a “beast” that lives and breathes or a huge machine with a ton of moving parts that also somehow becomes nearly sentient in its machinations and purpose. The amount of guests ebb and flow as the night wears on and the music tends to follow that. So hey…all my work peeps…now you’re famous (except for the fact that I’m not really famous at all…but we can pretend!!).
  10. Frog Dance – Always wanted to create a fusion version of Frog Dance (from “At My Father’s Cabin”).