Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Life as a Fakebook

That's the working title of a project I've been working on for a couple of years. I'd been wanting to publish a fakebook of some of my tunes for quite a long time, and I seriously got underway in 2007 when I had to do leadsheets for the other musicians who played on the CD Sometimes Things Work Out. At the same time, I wanted to share some stories from my career as a musician. I was looking at Charles Mingus's book More Than a Fakebook, and I liked how his leadsheets were interspersed with stories, anecdotes, and performance notes.

Good enough for Mingus, good enough for me.

So far, I've completed about 30 leadsheets, and maybe a dozen stories. I'm far short of where I need to be before I print up some copies (in C, Bb, Eb, and Bass transpositions, of course) and start dragging them out to jam sessions. I'd like to have about a hundred tunes and possibly a couple of dozen stories before I stop writing and start polishing it up.

I also learned a good lesson from the Sometimes Things Work Out CD project; my first print run will be in single-digit quantities. (CDs are still in stock -- get them while they last!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Artie Colatrella

From my dear friend Lisa Nemzo has come word of the serious challenges one of our friends is facing. Artie Colatrella is a wonderfully talented poet and lyricist. He is also very sick right now. As you can imagine, the positions of "poet" and "lyricist" don't usually come with health insurance.

Anyone who is on the fence about the need to reform the US health care system need only to read Artie's story. Please look it over and help if you can:

UPDATE: Hear Artie and Lisa interviewed on the London Garcia Show. It's the March 7th, 2010 show on this web page:

UPDATE: Artie passed away at 12:57 am, September 2, 2011. His final collaboration with Lisa Nemzo was the song Arlington, which has been made into a wonderful video.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Blue Fiddles

You should check out a new web series called Blue Fiddles. It's set in Portland, Oregon, and also filmed there. The writer/director/star is the multi-talented Nena Botto, and here's how Nena describes the story line:
"It's the story of three women searching for meaning amongst the day to day grind living in Portland, Oregon. The theme is a mix of comedy and drama that has aims to be glamorous through honesty -women who have scars from life experiences not from numerous Botox sessions. The characters are complex in their demeanor and wonderfully flawed in their intentions."
Please give this excellent web series a look. The first three episodes (Season One) are up now.

Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, they used a snippet of one of the tracks from the "Sometimes Things Work Out" CD -- Longing -- as soundtrack music in Episode 3. It's in the next to last scene.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Update on the CODA project

The CODA CD is finished!

As I worked on these recordings, I realized that this would not be another Three-Day Weekend album, as I had originally planned. Most of the tunes on this CD were written by Paul Bass, and performed by him on solo piano or electronic keyboard. There are just a few tracks that fit the 3DW format we established in the first five albums by that name. So, I decided that this is a Paul Bass album. I do play bass and guitar on a few tracks, but most of the tracks are just Paul.

I am very happy with how the tracks came out. I remixed a few, and took a crack at doing real mastering in the Mackie Tracktion program. It's amazing how much mastering can help (or help to ruin) a track!

This CD will not be available to the general public - it's a very limited release, just for a few friends and family. I think Paul would have wanted it that way.