Tunes on Tuesday: Let’s Wander

Why this tune?

You never know what will trigger a good song idea. In the case of “Let’s Wander,” from my album “Making Up For Lost Time,” it was lunch at a taco restaurant and a coaster that said “Let’s go where the wifi is weak.” That connected with another phrase I had written down about dog parks to start a musical story about wandering around our city, Washington, DC.

I wrote the song with DC in mind, and included what I thought were specific details about the District. Barbara Papendorp did a lovely job interpreting the lyrics, supported by Mark Saltman (bass) and Paul Jung (drums) and a great tenor sax solo from Lionel Lyles.

Dig this detail!

When Tony Gudell recorded the tune, he said it reminded him of New York City. His version has more of a New York vibe to it. And when I played “Let’s Wander” on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, we found it fit the town of Frederiksted, especially the line about forts from long ago. Of course, the fit is not complete; no need to “make sure to cross on the green” in a town with no traffic lights.

It’s always a revelation to see how a song resonates after you release it into the world.

Hear the story

Check it out!

From my album “Making Up For Lost Time

Tony Gudell with Michael Matthews (bass), Christian Clark (drums), Chris Stiles (piano)

Live from St. Croix with vocalist Adjoa, recorded July 31, 2020

Published by Oren Levine

Jazz pianist and composer in Washington, DC. Also a digital product and technology professional working at a small DC nonprofit

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