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Posts Tagged ‘imeem’

Owl City’s Playlist: Music To Eat Pizza To

October 22nd, 2009
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Pizza

Pizza

I saw a post on the imeem home page about an electronic pop band called Owl City (which, incidentally, is really popular: their Myspace page has over 12 million views).

Adam Young from Owl City has put together a music playlist on imeem entitled “Music To Eat Pizza To”, and I think this is a fantastic idea!

Click here to visit imeem to listen to full playlist (with full length songs, free account required), or you can preview the songs using the player below.

Look out for my next original composition having to do with pizza, or maybe even sushi (coming soon, Geoff Peters: “Song to Eat Sushi To”).

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Song of the Week: “Your Amazing Grace” by Marcus Miller feat Chaka Khan

September 28th, 2009
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Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller

The JazzPianoCafe song of the week is “Your Amazing Grace” by Marcus Miller featuring Chaka Khan.

It’s from Marcus’s 2001 album M2 (find Marcus Miller M² on Amazon.com).

The song features a stellar cast of musicians:

The track starts off with a soft synth patch and a triangle wave lead that repeats a catchy little riff, which is echoed by Marcus Miller’s bass clarinet as it enters. The bass clarinet then plays the familiar melody from Amazing Grace, still over top of the synth pad. A drum and bass rhythm programming begins, but it is low in the mix (although it is well textured and contoured using cutoff filters). Chaka Khan’s soulful voice enters and after introducing herself musically, begins on a totally different melody that is “Your Amazing Grace” – Marcus Miller’s original composition. Kenny Garrett plays a killer alto-sax solo, and the song modulates keys, adding even more energy. An extended outro section keeps the music happening right ’till the end.

Listening to this song can excite something spiritual within me. I love how it’s a fusion of electronic and acoustic, of jazz, soul and drum and bass. (Marcus Miller even adds a reggae-style bass line in the outro.)

The track is available on Imeem (free account registration required), or you can purchase the CD which it’s on, M2 (“M Squared”), from Amazon. I’ve also included a streaming player below which should play the full version of the song.

Your Amazing Grace – Marcus Miller feat.Chaka Khan

Stay tuned for another great Song of the Week from JazzPianoCafe.com!

If you have any suggestions on a future song of the week, please email me at geoff@gpeters.com.

Take care and until next time,
Geoff Peters

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Song of the Week: Stars by Kate McGarry

September 2nd, 2009
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Kate Mcgarry. Photo credit: Matteo Trisolini

Kate Mcgarry. Photo credit: Matteo Trisolini

I just discovered the music of jazz vocalist Kate McGarry (view her page on All About Jazz, her website, or her myspace).

She has a really contemporary and modern sound, a bit similar to Bjork but with the passion and intensity of some of the classic “old school” vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.

For the Jazz Piano Cafe “Song of the Week”, I’ve picked Kate McGarry’s track Stars off her 2005 album, Mercy Streets. Stars was composed by pianist Fred Hersch who also performs on this track. The track also features Steve Cardenas (electric and acoustic guitars), Keith Ganz (myspace, acoustic guitar), Sean Smith (bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums).

You can listen to Stars at Imeem (streaming only, provided you register for a free account). It’s also on iTunes (full song for 99 cents), and available directly from the record label, Palmetto Records, or by using the player below.

Stars – Kate McGarry

Stars is a wistful and beautiful song. The impressionistic glittering of Fred Hersch’s gentle yet insistent piano explorations makes me imagine looking at a sky full of stars. Wollesen’s drums and Smith’s bass eventually reveal the hints of a sophisticated and pulsing bossa nova, that underlies McGarry’s clear, sensitive, and nuanced vocal lines. The track progresses at a meandering walking pace through many harmonic directions into a thoughtful and motion-filled piano solo, and returns again to the original groove. My favorite part of the track is the line ending in “skies are friendless” at 2:15.

Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:

It’s so much harder
I find
without the light
of endless stars.
Clear the wondrous winter sky
that casts its spell.
Warm your hand in mine.
Do you recall
who can tell
I wish I knew what I could do
to forget your face. What to do when nights are endless
and skies are friendless.
Not a star, bring back the stars, the endless stars.

I hope you enjoy this track! Stay tuned for more great songs of the week.

Geoff Peters at Jazz Piano Cafe.com

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Song of the Week – Hit By A Cement Mixer, Ninjaspy

July 6th, 2009
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I decided I am going to start a “Song of the Week” on this blog. Every week I will post a blog about a new song that I have found that I think is really great. There will be links to where you can listen to the song online and also purchase it.

Ninjaspy

Ninjaspy

The first Song of the Week (SOTW) is a track by a band based in Vancouver BC Canada called Ninjaspy (band web site, myspace).

Ninjaspy is innovative in that they combine and blend genres in their music. They are a Hardcore Punk Rock band mixed with Funk and Ska/Reggae. Fusion is something I really enjoy, whether it is with food, music, or even other kinds of art.

While this blog is primarily about jazz and jazz piano, my friends have said that I have eclectic tastes in music, and I intend to write about any sort of music that I think is good. I was listening to the tracks on the Ninjaspy myspace page in the background and was working on something else, and suddenly I thought, hey, that’s a really cool song.

The song is called Hit by a Cement Mixer (iTunes link, imeem link). It’s a hugely dynamic song, going from a gentle whisper of a city soundscape to full on Hardcore screaming, to a catchy ska groove.

The best part of it is at 1:22 in the track (and several other times where the section is repeated), where there is a relaxing lull moment (just before 1:22) followed by a burst of guitar and excited screaming that ends in a harmonically beautiful guitar cadence.

The lyrics are quite graphic and dark, but poetic. I didn’t catch all of them when I was listening to the song, but when I read them on a lyrics site I was a bit shocked. But a fairly depressing theme goes along with the band’s Hardcore and edgy roots – it’s crying out and it says something.

[JPC]

Ninjaspy
Song: Hit by a Cement Mixer
Album: Nature
Official Web Site
Album page at CDBaby
Listen on : iTunes, imeem

Hit By a Cement Mixer – ninjaspy

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Piano Practice recording – jazz standard Joy Spring, Autumn Leaves, and technique

June 19th, 2009
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I practiced the piano for about an hour today, in two different sessions. The first session was about 20 minutes. I am working on getting my technique flowing again and learning the jazz standard Joy Spring by Clifford Brown. I also did a bit of improvised accompaniment to myself singing Autumn Leaves.

Click here to listen to my piano practice in Midi format.

Here is a nice recording of Arturo Sandoval performing Joy Spring from his album I Remember Clifford:

Joy Spring – Arturo Sandoval

Here is a recording of Joy Spring by the late great jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and his trio:

Joy Spring – The Oscar Peterson Trio

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Practice recordings – Tune Up by Miles Davis and Triste by Antonio Carlos Jobim

June 11th, 2009
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A couple more practice recordings to share:


Tune Up by Miles Davis, practice no. 4

First time reading through the tune Triste by Antonio Carlos Jobim (about a 10 minute practice, before I had listened to the original recording)

Here is one of the original recordings of Triste (click here to view on Imeem) or use the player below:

Triste – Antonio Carlos Jobim

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New Recording: I Need More by Angela Molineux and Geoff Peters

May 14th, 2009
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My friend, vocalist Angela Molineux, dropped by my place in between her trips to New York and London, and we recorded an original song called I Need More.

We wrote this song around three years ago, and it has been good to let time pass and see how we grew musically since then. I would describe this song as jazz/pop – listen closely for the “Pretty Bunny” line!

Feel free to use the player above to listen, or click here to listen to the song on Imeem.com.

If you’d like to download an MP3 version of the song you can get it from here. Hope you enjoy it!

For interested computer music buffs, we recorded this using a Shure SM-58 microphone, a Yamaha P90 keyboard and a MOTU 8-Pre Firewire audio interface hooked to a Macbook.

Check out Angela’s Myspace page for more music from her.

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Piano Practice on Lee Morgan’s Ceora (and the original Lee Morgan recording)

May 9th, 2009
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On of the tracks that I have been listening to on my cell phone lately is Lee Morgan‘s tune Ceora (you can listen to the recording on Imeem by clicking here or by using the player below). Jazztrumpetsolos.com has a transcription of Lee Morgan’s solo on Ceora.

Ceora – Lee Morgan

Anyways, tonight I practiced for about half an hour on the tune Ceora. I hadn’t had a practice for almost a whole week, so for a good part of the practice I was focusing on getting some fluidity and strength back into my fingers while soloing. A few more hours and I will be getting back into things again.

Click here to download my practice of Lee Morgan’s Ceora in Midi format.

Since it’s in midi the sound quality will depend on what kind of synthesizer your computer has.

If you have a Disklavier piano it may sound even better than how it sounded while I was practicing!

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My Foolish Heart – Gio Escueta and Geoff Peters (and Kurt Elling!)

May 2nd, 2009
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Two weeks ago, Gio Escueta and I made a video of us performing the jazz standard My Foolish Heart. Click here to view the video on Youtube, or feel free to use the player below.

If you’d like to download the MP3 of the performance, feel free to grab it here.

> My Foolish Heart (MP3 time 3:34) – as performed by Gio Escueta (vocals) and Geoff Peters (piano)

This tune is a popular jazz standard that has been recorded by many jazz greats. Wikipedia has more info (click here); here is a brief excerpt:

Gordon Jenkins’s recording of “My Foolish Heart” reached the top ten on the charts. However, Billy Eckstine’s version became a million seller, spending 19 weeks on the charts and peaking at #6. Later recordings were made of this standard by numerous artists, including Bill Evans, Joe Williams with George Shearing, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Carmen McRae,Elkie Brooks. Astrud Gilberto and Mel Tormé. More recently, “My Foolish Heart” has been covered by pianists Liz Story and Keith Jarrett, guitarists John McLaughlin and John Abercrombie, Charlie Haden’s Quartet West, singers Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau, Jane Monheit and Ann Hampton Callaway, a capella quartet The Idea of North, and the Ska band “The Positive Downside.” In 1963, the song made the top 100 in a doo-wop version by the Demensions.

Here is a link to the Kurt Elling version, which is one of my favorite tracks at the moment. I’ve included an embedded player below:

I’m excited that Kurt Elling is coming to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival this year (which runs June 26th to July 5, 2009). Kurt Elling’s concert in Vancouver is on July 3rd 2009 at the Centre for Performing Arts (click here for concert details).

Update: May 2nd 2009: I found a great Youtube video of Kurt Elling performing My Foolish Heart live in Paris (click here to view or use the player below).

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Musical Tidbits on the web

November 1st, 2008
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A bunch of updates relating to music and the web… hope you enjoy!

SearchMe.com – legal loophole opens door to amazing music search engine

I came across SearchMe, a really neat free/legal music search engine that lets you listen to full versions of the songs. I don’t know how it’s possible for this site to exist, but apparently they get their music through Imeem widgets, and Imeem has a licensing agreement with four major record labels, and there is some kind of loophole in their licensing agreement which allows a site like SearchMe to exist.

To access the site, go to www.searchme.com and click on Music. I was able to find really rare stuff on there, such as the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack by Yoko Kanno, Ahmad Jamal’s 2008 album entitled It’s Magic, some Kenny Barron albums, some Roy Hargrove live tracks – it’s pretty much endless! It also lets you share the songs. For example, click here to listen to one of my favorite Ahmad Jamal jazz piano trio tracks, a song called Arabesque from his album It’s Magic.

Henry Hey and Sarah Palin – jazz piano brilliance mixed with politics

In other news, I discovered the music of New York jazz pianist Henry Hey. I was browsing the web and saw a link to a YouTube video about Sarah Palin singing along with a jazz piano accompianist (click here), and was intrigued. It turns out that pianist Henry Hey took a video of a Palin interview and added piano behind her words, in perfect time with her vocal rhythm and intonation. I thought to myself, “this is where Jazz Piano meets political activism” – from a musical and political standpoint this video is pure genius.

So the result of all this Youtubing is that I went over to Henry Hey’s record label Nineteen Eight records (click here) and bought his 2008 piano trio album entitled Watershed. It costs $9 USD for the whole album as a digital download, and is available in non-DRM MP3 format (which let you freely copy to any of your devices or computers to enjoy the music wherever you are: but of course instead of copying to friends you should encourage them to buy their own copy from the web site to support the artist).

If you’d like to listen to some of Henry Hey’s music, check out his myspace page (click here).

Youtube video of myself performing Chick Corea tune

Also, in the past few weeks I have been working on learning the wonderful Chick Corea tune, entitled “Windows”. I mostly know it from his incredible 1988 album Now He Sings Now He Sobs.

Last weekend I made a Youtube video of myself performing my own improvised arrangement of Windows (click here to view), and the comments I have been getting are really encouraging.

dugin27 writes:

I don’t know how much money you’re going to make playing piano but I know enough to say that you’re goning to have one hell of a fine time with that instrument for the rest of your life. Bravo and best of luck. Bud

drmhouse writes:

Very nice playing… you love to just play and it’s fun as hell to watch.

I’m really enjoying this whole Internet thing, to be able to share my music with people around the world, and learn from other talented people by watching their music too, it’s the greatest thing! Many interesting years ahead!!

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