(Edited Dec. 28, 2014)
In January 2014, I made a new year’s resolution to produce at least one original composition (of some sort) every month through the year. Looking back from December, I consider the resolution fulfilled. I produced something new in 10 months out of 12, including some quality songs (including one album track, in the process of being released). I also generated plenty of ideas for next year, so I aim to keep this going in 2015.
Best wishes for a successful and musical New Year!
Here’s the month-by-month summary:
January: “45 Seconds:” can you tell a musical story in 45 seconds? I think so:
February: “Snow Day:” soon to be released on Aaron Myers’ holiday album “Jazz Holiday”. In the meantime, here’s a live recording of the song by Aaron from earlier this year:
March: For the Facebook group Jam of the Week, I recorded a new melody and lyrics for the bossa nova standard “Black Orpheus”
April: “Are You Out of Your Mind,” dedicated to the amazing singer and teacher (and NEA Jazz Master) Sheila Jordan. Here’s a live recording:
May: Still in progress, “Medical Center,” for the next volume of MetroSongs. Stay tuned for more info about performances and a new recording in 2015.
June: nothing this month
July: I spent a week at the Lake District Summer Jazz School in the UK, where I wrote some chord changes to lyrics by Kerry “Lady” Layton, a “UK based Singer, Performance Artist and Independent Events Producer”.
August: Still in progress: a song about Formal and Informal language (Common Core standard CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.3.C), inspired by Schoolhouse Rock.
September: nothing this month
October: “The Rhythm Of Jazz,” dedicated to the brilliant Israeli musician Nahum Perferkovich, who I had the privilege of studying with briefly many years ago when I lived in Israel.
Here’s my demo recording:
November: Still in progress, collaborating with Jason Mendelson and the MetroSongs band on “Mt. Vernon Square,” also for the next recording, in which we tell the story of a conventioneer in the Nation’s Capital.
December: “The Bar Where I Belong,” dedicated to the soon-to-close Black Fox Lounge in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC. Thanks to Marianne Solivan for the title. If you haven’t heard her sing, you should do so right away.
Here’s Aaron Myers performing the tune at the Black Fox Lounge
Aaron Myers premiered the song on December 19, and I hope to perform it again on New Year’s Eve at the Black Fox, when I’ll join Aaron and the band to close the joint with a final evening of songs and stories.