Making Up For Lost Time

Eleven original compositions featuring ten of the DC area’s finest musicians

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Oren Levine’s debut album Making Up For Lost Time presents eleven original jazz songs inspired by the spirit of the American Songbook, telling contemporary stories of people, places, and passions.

This project is a tribute to the vibrant and supportive DC jazz scene, where DC native Oren has been active since returning to his hometown in 2010. The title and title song reflect on the joy and wonder of his unexpected musical success in middle age. This very American music is already reaching a global audience. Oren performed “Alternative Facts” with the DC Jazz Collective at the 2019 Thailand International Jazz Conference. Greek webcaster and soul music collector Dionisis Dimos has played “When The Morning Comes” several times on his weekly program Souldennis Time, calling it “one of the best jazz songs of 2018.”

The album was nominated for three Washington Area Music (Wammie) awards, including Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Song for the original songs “Alternative Facts” and “Let’s Wander.” 

The album features composer and pianist Oren Levine alongside ten of the top jazz artists in the Washington, DC area, including two winners of the Washington City Paper “Best Of” awards: Lionel Lyles, (Best New Jazz Musician 2016) and Aaron Myers (Best Singer, 2015).

Find it online

Order a physical CD ($15 plus $3 shipping in the US)

Buy a “virtual album” to support streaming the music ($7)

News and Reviews

  • Mid-Atlantic Song Contest 2019 Finalist award (Vocal Jazz/Blues) for the song “Making Up For Lost Time”
  • Three 2019 Wammie nominations (Best Jazz Album, Best Jazz Song for Alternative Facts and Let’s Wander)
  • Soul and Jazz and Funk (UK), March 28, 2019

Songs on the album

  1. An August Day In April (vocals by Barbara, Tony, and Aaron)
  2. Without You (sung by Barbara Papendorp)
  3. Making Up For Lost Time (sung by Tony Gudell)
  4. When The Morning Comes (sung by Aaron Myers)
  5. The Heart Says (sung by Barbara Papendorp)
  6. Nine Miles Wide (instrumental featuring Herb Scott)
  7. Let’s Wander (sung by Barbara Papendorp)
  8. All I Ever Lost (sung by Barbara Papendorp)
  9. In The Lounge (sung by Tony Gudell)
  10. Alternative Facts (instrumental featuring Lionel Lyles)
  11. The Bar Where I Belong (sung by Aaron Myers)

An August Day In April (2011)

We visited Ithaca, NY on a very warm day in April, inspiring our friend to make the comment that became the title of this song. This has become my signature song, which I’ve performed with almost every vocalist I have worked with in DC. I invited the three vocalists on this project to join together for this tune. Barbara Papendorp, Tony Gudell, Aaron Myers (vocals), Percy White (bass), Ele Rubenstein (drums)

Without You (2016)

This is a song from a 1930’s musical, but written in 2016. Barbara and I premiered this at a show celebrating Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday. We think she would have sung it if I had only written it 10 (or 60) years sooner. Barbara Papendorp (vocals), Mark Saltman (bass), Paul Jung (drums)

Making Up For Lost Time (2017)

I have the jazz community in Washington, DC to thank for the active life I enjoy as a musician and composer in this great city. As the song says, it’s not something I thought about back in the day, but better late than never! Tony Gudell (vocals), Mark Saltman (bass), Paul Jung (drums)

When The Morning Comes (2016)

Unlike most of my songs, this one started as a fragment of a melody and some chords. I sat down one early morning and drew inspiration from the time of day. Thanks to Aaron Myers for the arrangement and production advice. Aaron Myers (vocals), Herb Scott (alto sax), Percy White (bass), Ele Rubenstein (drums)

The Heart Says (2015)

Got an invitation to brunch with the question: “Do you want bagels or donuts?” I thought “my heart says donuts, but my head says bagels.” The story expanded from there to a very personal tale of caution, frustration, and eventual romance (and of course donuts). Barbara Papendorp (vocals), Mark Saltman (bass), Paul Jung (drums)

Nine Miles Wide (2003)

This is the first piece of music I ever wrote. I was in a lesson with Frank Wilkins, and mentioned that I hadn’t written any original music. He said “OK, write something!” So I did, completing my first piece at age 40. I’m thrilled by the way this recording came out, especially since the band saw the chart for the first time in the studio. Herb Scott (alto sax), Percy White (bass), Ele Rubenstein (drums)

Let’s Wander (2018)

A love song about the simple pleasures of exploring your surroundings. Also a love song to Washington, DC. Barbara Papendorp (vocals), Mark Saltman (bass), Paul Jung (drums)

All I Ever Lost (2017)

A friend of Barbara’s told us about a relationship gone bad, after which she realized that the only important thing she lost was her TV. This cabaret song imagines the back story. Barbara Papendorp (vocals)

In The Lounge (2011)

Here’s a lounge song about … lounges, that I started writing in a lounge at Heathrow Airport near London. My job at Nokia had me traveling regularly at the time, which earned me the dubious privilege of spending many hours waiting for a flight in a variety of airport lounges. Are there other songs that have airport codes in the lyrics? Thanks to Mark for the idea for the intro. Tony Gudell (vocals), Lionel Lyles (tenor sax), Mark Saltman (bass), Paul Jung (drums)

Alternative Facts (2017)

Turning indignation into inspiration with this short instrumental, inspired by the work of the great Charles Mingus, who used his music to respond to the political threats of his time. Lionel Lyles (tenor sax), Mark Saltman (bass), Paul Jung (drums)

The Bar Where I Belong (2014)

This song is dedicated to the Black Fox Lounge, where I first met (and played with) Aaron Myers soon after returning to Washington, DC in 2010. The Lounge became my musical “home away from home” until it closed in January 2015, after Aaron’s final New Year’s Eve show (where he sang this song). Aaron Myers (vocals), Andrew Frankhouse (tenor sax), Percy White (bass), Ele Rubenstein (drums)

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