Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: Jazz music (page 1 of 4)

Dreams Redux*

I’ve listened to Robert Glasper for many years. (hip hop, jazz, r&b, rap)
This tune caught my eye/ears for many reasons.
Reharmonization and arrangement, piano (obviously)
Reeves is amazing with her vocal.
Put on some decent phones and LISTEN.
And come see me play this with my duo, NightCap. (with Lisa Wilson Brumby)
It’s going to be a musically unforgettable experience.

Christmas Dreams in Crystal Blue


If I could write an amazing Christmas instrumental for my wife,
it would go something like this.
A complex Vince Gueraldi kind of song, if you will.
Almost as beautiful as she is . . .


Just because I can


Grab a cup or glass of your preferred beverage, relax and listen.
If you’re not into jazz/fusion this is NOT for you.
But if you have an hour or so to kick around consider this my Christmas present to you.
Svensson is incredible as is this video.
I hope this thing plays  . . .


Back in 1972, the Stylistics released ‘Betcha by Golly Wow’ to the masses.
Although I’m not sure just how high it climbed on the charts, it was an amazing song in so very many ways.
The song’s harmonic complexity was something of a rarity for the ’70’s.
I loved the song back then (musically, not really knowing why but understanding it now)
and had all but forgotten about it until today.
A friend had given me the new Pat Metheny CD to listen to,
I put it on my Ipod and completely forgot about it.
Shuffling my way to South Station tonight this old familiar song came streaming into my headphones.
Betcha by Golly, Wow?
On guitar?
Who the hell is this?!?
Pat Metheny.
I can’t believe that there are still people that have never heard of him.
If I can turn one person onto this incredible musician, this post will have done its job.
If you have 10 minutes, please listen to the original and then to Metheny’s rendition.
Maybe you will hear why I am just so amazed by this man (and the Stylistics)
Either way, enjoy them both.
Expect some posts about my sojourn to Australia in the next few weeks.
Right now my cranium us still sifting through the incredible and amazing details . . .



Northern Lights

Having a melancholy little Wednesday afternoon here.
I’m cooking and listening to music but I don’t know . . .
No more details.
This is a song I used to play with a band I was in years ago and it evokes good memories.
I think that’s what I really need today.
And yes, I want to see the Northern Lights before I die.
It’s a definite on my bucket list . . .

Chill 7:40

Grab a coffee, English Breakfast tea, Chai, cognac, scotch, bourbon, water and maybe a smoke,
all depending on where you are in the world of time zones.
Plug in some decent headphones and give yourself 7:40 minutes to just . . .
This is ‘Both Sides Now’,  Herbie Hancock from River: The Joni Letters
Hancock is and has been a jazz piano God to me.
And believe it or not he is 70 years old. (born in 1940)
At any rate, get a drink, perhaps a smoke and just
for 7:40 . . .
Your brain will thank me.
This is musical/cerebral Zen at its finest.

Lush Life

Special dedication tonight as I recall a smoky dive from the 50’s called the ‘Waltz Club’  . . .
Long story and definitely not one for this blog.
I knew of one of the patron saints of the place, from what I’ve heard.
Sweet dreams, lady, sweet and smoky dreams
Maybe I’ll see you in them . . .


*I find it intensely gratifying (for very personal reasons)
to give you the list of the players on this archaic recording:

Johnny Hartman, vocal
John Coltrane, tenor sax
McCoy Tyner, piano
Jimmy Garrison, bass
Elvin Jones, drums

God must have been engineering.

bad sneakers

I’m thinking many people have wondered about the origins of my URL,
or not.
I’ve based my email addresses on Steely Dan song titles
simply because I didn’t want
an email address like
Steely Dan song titles worked great;
(Book of Liars is a Dan song not currently on YouTube)
Okay, now I’ve let my little secret fly.
Now go and listen to the tune that ultimately gave me my URL . . .
(and a few email addys)
If you’re a Dan fan from the Boston area,
they’re appearing at the Wang in late July.
Go to Steely  for more info
I’m on vacation that week but for some reason
I’m not bumming about it at all . . . 😉


I began reading the new Natalie Goldberg book  ‘Old Friend from Far Away’ a few days ago.
It’s a book custom-tailored for writers of memoir.
So far the book is quite good (like all of her books).
Page 14 has a prompt that I’ve decided to turn into a post.
The chapter is quite short:

Tell me what you will miss when you die.

When I die there will be many things that I will miss.
This list went on for quite a few pages but I’ve chosen an abbreviated version for your perusal.
If I included food you’d be here for a few days.
I mostly chose things from the category ‘matters of the heart’.
Feel free to steal this as a ‘meme’.
For you writers visiting, it’s a wonderful exercise. Do it.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, it’s worth your time.
You can look at some of the things that really make your life worthwhile.
Here I go.

I will miss:

-Whispers in the dark
-Pamela’s eyes, voice, face and beautiful soul
-hearing the phrase, “I love you, Daddy,” whispered in my ear
-my three beautiful girls
-the sound of little footsteps coming down the stairs on Christmas morning
-my sister, my twin, the other part of my very soul
-Caitlin’s smile
-Ryan’s loveable way (and awesome jumpshot)
-Billy’s laugh
-All the people I truly love (if I’ve talked to you in the past year, consider yourself on this list)
-a warm and gentle rain
-the silent beauty of falling snow (yeah, I wrote that)
-the sound of surf at the Cape
-the smell of freshly cut grass in late spring
-stars (especially the constellation Orion, someday possibly the Southern Cross)
-my cats purring
-Cuban cigars
-Guinness (or any fairly decent dark beer like Porter or Stout)
-Makers’ Mark
-writing with a nice fountain pen on some fine quality paper
-the feeling of creating
-entering ‘the Zone’  (artists of all kinds know about this one)
-music (playing and listening)
-my piano
-weekend phone calls to a country far, far away with two incredibly special people
-memories of the Camp
-the aroma of an apple pie baked by my grandmother from summer’s long ago
-Blue Cheese
-Bill Hicks, Denis Leary, Sam Kinnison, George Carlin, Lewis Black and Dave Chapelle
-most importantly, my blog

And yes, I will dearly miss sex and exceptional breasts.
I’m not a freak.
Truthfully, what will you miss?


Denis Leary just kind of spoke my mind with this video.
The video and song are a bit old but are incredibly relevant even more so today.
My disillusionment with federal  and state government policies
have turned me into an asshole with a cause, I guess.
I can’t believe anymore in the total money-grubbing  douchebags that run this country.
As a citizen, I really want to quit.
But I can’t.
I am an asshole and I am damn proud of it.
Click on the picture above to see the classic ‘Leary’ video.
He smokes, drinks and swears and went to High School here in Worcester, Massachusetts.
He Rocks.

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