You are the Sunshine of my Life
Where were you when you first heard Stevie play this track? That's why Stevie, and this track in particular means so much to me. I've always wanted to play this track but had to wait until now to be cool enough to do it! ? Another of the great Fender Rhodes riffs ever. Another great Stevie ballad!
I tackle this jazz standard by Charlie Parker with my first Big Band arrangement! The lush horn section chords on sound very contemporary and I can see a direct line drawn from this to Steely Dan's blend of rock jazz. Indeed they did a track called "Parkers band" on their third album, Pretzel Logic. It was written by Charlie Parker in 1946 hence the title derives from Parker's nickname "Bird", respectively "Yardbird". Far from being a suite, the song follows an AABA form. The "graceful, hip melody, became something of an anthem for beboppers."
This song means so much to me I've always wanted to record it. It's my generation's 'My Way' - a statement of resilience for the human spirit. I'm no singer but I sing on this one exactly because it is so personal to me on the soundtrack to my life! The Late Lowell George, who wrote Willin', was playing with Frank Zappa when he wrote it. Legend has it that he took the song to Frank for his band to play. Frank's told Lowell that Willin' was such a great song he should form his own band.
Where were you?
A duet featuring the vocal talents of two of Soundcloud’s top rated vocalists; Vocalatti and Ty. It's an emotional ballad about cheating relationships and breakups. The girl wistfully asks ‘where were you’ emotionally and physically during the relationship. Could it have turned out differently?
Waltz for Debby
I've always loved this track by Bill Evans. Bill, as far as I can tell, never recorded his own material on Blue Note but I think he may well have done as a sideman. In contrast to the rest of the tracks on my album I've not mixed it up, I've approached this very simply and traditionally. I don't get to do 3/4 often and appreciate the possibilities when I do. It made for a nice solo played on my Nylon stringed electro acoustic.
Walk Between The Raindrops
This is typical Steely Dan territory, even though it was on Donald Fagen's Nighfly album (which I contend is the best album Steely Dan never released!). I use my American Clean tone on guitar for the melody, it's quite a complex piece but very satisfying whenever, in typical Steely Dan style, it changes key momentarily like modal jazz. It's short, but sweet!
My cover of the title track from Miles Davis Tutu album. Miles could play over any type of music from any era and make it sound great. Every decade brought a new sound. This was Miles' post 70's fusion style. Much slicker. Technology had moved on in the 80's and he could now exploit synths, sequencers and drum machines. Drums by Michael Herndon.
Tribute to George Duke
If you love the groove then George should be one of your go to guys! I love electric piano and been listening to him a lot recently for inspiration, hence the approach to this tribute track. Guitar is my first instrument and I have nowhere near George's keyboard virtuosity so please forgive the rough edges on my 'Georgesque' synth solo; it's an honest attempt at the spirit of probably the greatest technical player of our time.
If you don't know what a Fez is, it's a Moroccan hat worn popularly by comedic characters; Tommy "just like that" Cooper (UK) and Groucho Marx was apt to wear one in his more sartorial moments! This is the only Steely Dan song with a third credited writer, Paul Griffin, who also plays organ on the original song. On a BBC Online chat March 4, 2000, Donald Fagen said, "The Fez was recorded using a rhythm chart but there were a few bars missing and Paul Griffin, the keyboard player on the day, came up with a nice little melody, so we felt we should include him in the writer credits." It originally appeared on the 1976 Royal Scam album.