I’ve just returned from a small tour of the UK and a solo recording in Neuss, Germany. I’m writing to thank Georgia Mancio who wrote wonderful, musical lyrics to a host of my tunes written, literally, over the centuries. Oli Hayhurst on bass and Dave Ohm on drums were the best and at all times deeply swinging. And thanks to the audiences wherever we went who accepted these songs for adults as a given and who listened to them as seriously as they were intended. Georgia sang her heart out and we’ll have a CD of our time together coming out next April, “Songbook”.
In the middle of the tour I hopped over to Düsseldorf to record for my friend Ralf Kemper, who happens to have one of the most beautiful pianos on the planet. There I recorded an album’s worth of songs adapted from classical music. My most important goal was to reduce the mighty Wagner himself to a bunch of melodies (his), chord progressions (mostly, unbelievably, his) and rhythm (mine). I also wanted to present the greatness of his music in a way that could also be deeply and personally improvised on and not merely passed off as piano arrangements, something Liszt already did on a frightening level. I do believe I got the old boy to swing a little. This will be released later next year as “To the Evening Star”.
And finally, I’m awaiting the release on June 30, 2017 of “Developing Story” (please excuse the delay and pre-order here), produced by Ralf, performed by The London Metropolitan Orchestra and my trio with Harvie S and Peter Erskine. Something that will change the world!!!….sorry, got a bit carried away.
Oh, and if you got this far, that’s a photo of me at the Reform Club in London awaiting a poker game with Winston Churchill and Lloyd George (this is the corner of the card room where David Niv…. er, Phileas Fogg announced his trip around the world in 80 days, which, if nothing else, gave us the eponymously titled theme and the last song by Victor Young ).
Meanwhile, back to NYU teaching a couple of days a week. So that’s it. Please stay tuned.