Available now! “Making Up For Lost Time”

At long last, my album of original songs “Making Up For Lost Time” is complete and ready for production, scheduled for release on November 7. The album features 11 compositions (9 with lyrics) and features 10 of the DC area’s top jazz performers.

I’m thrilled with how the music came out. I’m also thrilled with this super cover photo, shot by the brilliant DC photographer Darwyn M. Dave.

I hope you enjoy the finished product, coming soon to CD Baby (digital and CD) and your favorite digital music services.

cover 2

 

Updates to the original: As Water Covers The Sea

It was Original Songs week on Jam Of The Week (week 244!), which gave me an opportunity to revisit “As Water Covers The Sea,” an instrumental piece I wrote a couple of years ago. While practicing the tune for the recording, I found a few bits that didn’t sound right to me, so I revised the melody and chords a bit to improve (IMO) the overall harmonic and melodic flow. I’m much happier with the revised version. Hope you enjoy it.

The album project is underway!

Just completed recording 11 tracks for an upcoming album of original tunes, which I hope to release later this year. I had the privilege of recording at the superb American University studios with Mike Harvey and his crew of talented graduate students, who made it easy for us to capture the work of 11 musicians in a variety of configurations.

I’m deeply grateful to the DC and Baltimore area artists who contributed their talents and ideas to this project:

  • Aaron Myers
  • Andrew Frankhouse
  • Barbara Papendorp
  • Ele Rubenstein
  • Herb Scott
  • Lionel Lyles
  • Mark Saltman
  • Paul Jung
  • Percy White
  • Tony Gudell

I’m looking forward to hearing the final product and sharing it with you.

Thanks to Tony for the photos!

Remembering Billie and Mel

We grew up with stories from my late father Mel Levine about the many evenings he spent in the jazz clubs of Boston in the 1940s and 50s, hearing the greats and hanging out with the local jazz players. Pa went to Storyville on April 24, 1959 to hear Billie Holiday, taking his camera with him to shoot some photos of the gig. That turned out to be one of her last performances. She died on July 17 of that year in New York.

We discovered some of those photos while cleaning out our parents’ house in Boston after my mom passed away in 2013. I posted those photos on this site soon afterwards.

A few years later, I received an email from Tracy Fessenden, a professor of religious studies at Arizona State University, who was writing a scholarly book about Billie Holiday, and wanted to use one of those photos for the cover art. My brother and I agreed, and we worked with Prof. Fessenden and her publisher to reproduce the image for her book.

That book, Religion Around Billie Holiday, has just been released by Penn State University Press, featuring our father’s photo on the cover. This is truly a fitting memorial for Mel, a lifelong jazz fan with a special love for the music of Billie Holiday. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, enjoy these original songs about love & lovers.

Without You: an old-fashioned song about lasting relationships

The Heart Says: a song about love, patience, and donuts

And finally, Snow Day, a seasonally appropriate song about the challenges (and promises) of relationships in winter weather