New song: “Snow Day”

My New Year’s resolution this year was to write at least one new original song each month. February’s song is called “Snow Day,” not a surprise considering the severity of the winter in the DC area this year. This is an attempt at more chromatic harmony, trying to get at something that Kurt Elling or Gregory Porter might perform. Here’s my scratch recording of the song. If you’re a vocalist and want to try this out, please let me know. In any case, I hope you enjoy it.

An offering for a musical Thanksgiving / Hanukkah

For this year’s rare confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, I offer my musical tributes to both holidays, performed here by Barbara Papendorp and Russwin Francisco.

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, Hag Urim Sameach, and best wishes for a warm and peaceful winter season.

Both of these were recorded live on Nov. 22, 2013, at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington, DC

Happy Thanksgiving, in song!

Just in time for the holiday, here’s my musical tribute to Thanksgiving, which I had the joy of performing on Friday the 22nd with Barbara Papendorp and Russwin Francisco at my show at the Black Fox Lounge in Washington, DC. It’s called “Thanksgiving With Uncle Rob” in honor of my uncle by that name who is always so happy just to see the family get together.

Enjoy, and happy Turkey Day!

A song for Thanksgiving

There are a number of songs for Thanksgiving, but I think it’s fair to say that the holiday is underserved in the music department, especially when compared to a particular holiday later in the year (actually holidays: there are plenty of songs for Xmas as well).

I decided to fill this gap in Thanksgiving music last year with an original song for the holiday, “Thanksgiving With Uncle Rob.” (originally titled “No Thanks”). It’s dedicated to my Uncle Rob, who is always so happy to see the family at holiday times.

I’m not much of a singer (as you can tell if you listen to my demo of this number on Soundcloud), so I’ll be happy to welcome any vocalist who wants to give this one a try.

Update 11/22/2019: Aaron Myers performs this song so much better! Please enjoy his version:

If you have ideas for other underserved (or undersung) holidays that deserve songs of their, please let me know as well.

Photo by Sugar Daze from flickr

Video from the Black Fox: Fly Me To The Moon

Here’s the first of what I hope will be several videos from our April 13 performance at the Black Fox Lounge. I’m very happy that we captured this particular performance of “Fly Me To The Moon”, which went on an interesting (and surprising) trip.

The band:

  • Aaron Myers, vocals
  • Oren Levine, piano
  • Percy White, bass
  • Joe Henderson, drums (filling in for our regular drummer Will Stephens)

More fun to come next Friday the 20th with Aaron and the ensemble.

In the Lounge

I just posted another original tune to the Original Music page, this one called “In The Lounge,” a somewhat-jetlagged reaction to too many overseas trips and too many airports. I haven’t recorded this one yet, and would be delighted if any singers out there would like to have a go at it.

Speaking of which, the band is coming together for my March 30 gig at the Black Fox Lounge in Dupont. Hope you can join me there!

MetroSongs: Cleveland Park

I’m happy to report that Jason Mendelson¬†recorded and posted my modest contribution to his ongoing MetroSongs project, a song about Cleveland Park (on the Metro Red Line, in upper Northwest Washington). The song is about holding on to your history in the face of change, a theme that seemed appropriate to this neighborhood.

For more information on that history, you can try some sources that I found useful: Wikipedia (of course) and the local historical society.

Photos by KCIvey and M. V. Jantzen from Flickr

[updated the link to the Cleveland Park song & MetroSongs project Jan. 4]

Getting ready for Hanukkah

In preparation for Hanukkah, I recorded a quick demo of “Hanukkah Light,” my contribution to the American Hanukkah repertoire.

I was inspired to write this in 2009, after reading that Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah wrote a Hanukkah song, in collaboration with Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic. I thought, if a Mormon senator can write a Hanukkah song, then certainly a Jewish jazz pianist can write one as well.

The result was Hanukkah Light; the lead sheet is available on the Original Music page, and you can find the recording over at Soundcloud (and in the sidebar of this page).

As a reminder, Hanukkah starts on December 20. Enjoy!