We used to do that tune, “What a Difference a Day Made” as a nice bright samba cookin’ along at about 120 bpm. I also sang it in the present tense, using “makes” rather than “made” it seemed more vivid that way somehow. Shirley Granger was the first performer I worked with who did the tune that way and it just stuck. Shirley’s band performed all over Vancouver in the 70’s along with Clive Guard and Gary O’Bray. We played places like the International Plaza, the Cave, and all over Gastown. Shirley had a larger than life pirate-like steel-hulled sailboat with her husband Alex called the Black Eyes, famous for its wild parties. Many a fond memory of Shirley, our gigs together and all the fun in between.
Hurtling from the disco era into the present, Bill and I have been busy creating our latest labour of love. It’s a collection of Twenty Interesting Pieces for the Contemporary Pianist with lots of beauty and character and treasures for the ear. For example, we had just finished one of our new pieces and suddenly found ourselves singing and dancing ‘What a difference a note makes – twenty four little half tones…’all over the living room. Stay tuned for more on these tunes!
Spring starts making her entrance long before the calendar says it’s official and proper to be Spring, eh? It’s undeniable, unstoppable, and the most welcome thing in the world. A signal that maybe the cosmos does care about us, after all. Climate change notwithstanding, is it wrong to enjoy some early warmth in February and March?
I wanna tell the world how wonderful it is to have such a creative and accomplished partner! These musical flowerings are nourishing for all of us. Like my swirly leafed begonia plant…it’s been in bloom for weeks now! But plant music is tremendously quiet <PPPPP>
Bill’s new Quintet is exciting! dynamic! filled with verve! His writing is peerless and he’s chosen his musical companions well. Come and find out tonight!
Featuring a bucket list of favourite tunes from Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Don Grolnick plus some of Bill’s best original pieces from his recordings. Bernie Arai – drums, Nick Apivor – vibes/perc, Miles Hill – bass & Kristian Alexandrov – piano. Reservations recommended.
Aaaand at Frankie’s too this Saturday:
Are you the type of person that scrolls all the way to the bottom? Well here’s your reward! A sneak preview of this hot new band!
A thrilling dance experience can be yours this weekend! I’ve written a bunch of new music for the Kozmik Keyboard to accompany YOU, while Jacob Larmour speaks inspirationally, and you, of course, dance.
Rain or shine 2-6 pm @ Davie and Bute st. You know, the rainbow walk! Jacob Larmour and I will be on from 3:30 – 4:30 for a fascinating guided experience of the human story. Not to be missed!
Here I am playing a new tune called ‘Reunion.’ I just discovered the bass function on my Kozmik Keyboard – super fun. I may have overdone it though, ‘cos the arpeggiator broke shortly after making this little video. hmm…
As I sit around here twiddling my thumbs still waiting to be over the whole concussion thing…I came across an interesting envelope in my desk. “Hols Costa Rica memories,” in my mother’s handwriting no less. Bless her dear heart! I wrote and played a lot while I was living up in that incredible location, on the Continental divide, Monteverde, C.R.
“I wasn’t sure if I should really mention anything…but a large ape has been coming to me out of the forest, almost nightly, and for some time now. What I like so much about him is not having to deal with the whole Spanish thing. What is Spanish anyway? you put an ‘ito’ or an ‘a’ or an ‘o,’ or sometimes a ‘dad’ at the end of English word, and that’s Spanish, pretty much. True there are occasional surprises, like the word “banano.” But think about it, of course a banana is male. Frank and I (he’s so wonderfully direct) often enjoy a kilo or two of bananos together, all in good fun. The locals here prefer them nice and ripe and even feed bananos to their horses.
Then there’s the pig farm down in the valley. I had to go down there to check it out. It’s actually more like a concentration camp. Barbed wire, large grey windowless buildings, dour looking men in gumboots and the cries of the damned, that’s what. I’m so glad I stopped eating bacon. I’ll occasionally get a good whiff of pig shit up here but I still tell myself it’s paradise.”
Ok – it’s actually the second snow…but it’s SNOW! and it’s still magical and awesome…especially through the eyes of my young Mexican neighbor across the lane who saw snow for the very first time TODAY. He is about four…I didn’t see him try and melt it on his tongue though…I’ll have to tell him about that one…and snow angels, snowballs, skiing and the whole glorious business.
Oh yessss…if you couldn’t make it to the June 25 Concert ~ now’s your chance…incredible new music from John Korsrud, Hugh Fraser, Bill Runge and moi! It’s a free concert in a public space…fabulous musicians…super music in the great spaciousness…
See you there!
Here’s a sneak peek at my co-write with Bill Runge, “Lagoon”, which will have its second performance on September 24.
This weekend brings the peak of Summer! We’ve had the fireworks, we’ve had Pride and now the great celestial Perseid meteor show takes over…up to eighty meteors an hour and fireballs will be somehow silently whooshing over our heads this very weekend! I kid you not! So get away from the city lights if you can and enjoy the greatest show off earth…
Seraphina (my flute) and I have been noticeably quieter this last year and a half as I continue to recover from my little accident. (I fell off my mother’s bed while clipping her toenails and went backwards into a chest of drawers! strange but true!) Although I’m not back to performing yet, I have been enjoying writing at the piano, very much. Bill asked me to collaborate with him on a piece for the jazz festival. It’s called “Lagoon,” and I’d love to share this new piece with you. I’ll be there in the back row probably, with my ear plugs and shades…but feeling very happy! Eventually we’ll get back to the Naturals recording we were working on. Can’t say exactly when. I certainly am learning a lot about the brain though, neuroplasticity and all that. Brains are cool 🙂
Hope to see you on next Sunday, June 25 at the Atrium at the Woodwards Building! Performance is at 5pm!