6/7/14: Old Blues #3 (from the Show)

This is the opening selection from my new one man show, Piano Diaries. The show, fittingly, ends with “New Blues #3 in G”. Will post that when I get a decent video….

8-03-13: New Blues #3 in G (Take 1)

8-03-13: New Blues #3 in G (Take 1)

This is the third in a series of what is projected to be 24 solo blues in the “new” style, call, prosaically enough, 24 New Blues. (The first one in C is here, the second in Em is here.) This one is VERY hard to play, thus the qualifier “Take 1”. These will eventually go on a separate site with the mirror set of 24 Old Blues. Together they add up to 48 blues, but the site is call 47Blues. You’ll understand when the site goes live. Until then…

(This is also the first post since updating to WordPress 3.6. This version of WordPress supports, among other things, native audio which means I don’t need to embed the tracks from Bandcamp. You still need to go there to actually buy the tracks.)

8-31-12: Old Blues #1 (Video)

This comes from a live streaming video session, shot at Taylor Studios in Milwaukee. “Old Blues #1” is (obviously) the first of this set of blues I’m writing in the “old” style, as a counterpoint to the New Blues set I’m also writing. The key feature of this particular piece is the way the left hand plays the tune and accompaniment (really three parts: base, chords, melody) while the right hand improvises freely over the top.

7-23-13: New Blues #4 in E Minor

7-23-13: New Blues #4 in E Minor

Another track from the July 11 Tone Zone session. This is the second one from the aforementioned set of New Blues (there are eventually supposed to be 24 of them, one in each major an minor keys.) What makes them “new”? Well, I’m also writing a set of 24 Old Blues, so it’s only in the comparison between these two sets that you’ll notice the difference. I’ll be posting some of the old ones soon enough.

7/11/13: New Blues #1 in C

7/11/13: New Blues #1 in C

As with the track below, I just recorded this today at Tone Zone in Chicago. There are mistakes, folks, but I thought you should check this track out. It’s one of the few here (so far) that is based on a written composition. That is the first part is written, the middle part is an improvisation over the left hand part, and the third part combines the first and second parts. Does that make sense? No? Well then listen and figure it out for Pete’s sake! And I am Pete. (Does everything in this godforsaken nation need to be obvious?)

2/4/13: Bartok in the Delta

2/4/13: Bartok in the Delta

When I was a kid, I played many pieces from Bela Bartok’s six volume pedagogical work for piano, Mikrokosmos. Some of them are quite dry, other’s whimsical, a few quite beautiful—from very easy to pretty damn hard. The theme of this little piece, and it’s contrapuntal treatment reminds me of many of those pieces. The Delta part of the title (as in Mississippi) refers to the bluesy way it develops. Was Bartok ever in the Delta? I have no idea, but I do remember reading a story about him where he, his wife, and a friend took off all their clothes and ran butt naked up some hill, possibly in North Carolina, though it may have been in Europe. That story changed my opinion of him—for the better.