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  • Randallopry

    A music blog
    • June 18, 2014 12:20 pm

      Getting to Know the Piano for iPad and Mac is now available on the iBooks app store! Recently I’ve been working on an interactive ebook that introduces kids to the basics of piano.  I did all the illustrations and played the examples for this short kids book.  It’s only 2.99 and is on the ibooks store in 51 different countries!  If you and your kids like it, give it a 5 star review.  Thanks! http://bit.ly/1pg8cap

    • June 17, 2014 10:39 pm

      Finding civil war bullets was always the best: As kids, my brothers and I looked forward to treasure hunting with our Dad around the neighborhood and near the Chattahoochee River.  He manned the fancy machine, while we dug with our well-worn green army shovels and tried not to puncture whatever lay beneath.  Most times we would be disappointed by a bottle cap, but if we were lucky we would uncover a shard of a cannonball or a belt buckle from the civil war.  The most memorable find was a fully preserved civil war infantry sword; the handle still intact. We also found bullets, ten year old coins, and a thousand pounds of rusty unidentified objects.  This is where I first began to appreciate history, archaeology, and digging.  

           Recently I was flipping through some of our family’s old records of early jazz and 70s rock and roll, when I came across a very scratched 78 rpm with a homemade label.  The label read “Mitch, Rand, Daughtridge 11/13/40” and I immediately realized it was a homemade recording of my great uncle Ed Rand.  He played alto saxophone in high school and college and was an early member of the Atlanta Seventeen, which is still performing today.  Unfortunately, when I tried to play the record I had the wrong kind of needle and it was severely scratched, so I had to put it aside for a while.  But after a little bit of research, I came across Michael Graves at Osiris Studio in Atlanta and realized he would be the one to help bring this family treasure back to life.  Michael is a grammy award winning mastering engineer who works on all types of recordings and calls himself an “audio archaeologist”.  He has done restoration/mastering for Art Rosenbaum The Art of Field Recording, Hank Williams The Garden Spot Recordings, Alan Lomax field recordings, and a multitude of other significant records.  He was able to salvage most of the recording although one or two tracks were lost due to the edges being warped.  The tracks feature Ed on alto saxophone with his two friends Jimmy Mitchell on trombone and Lee Daughtridge on trumpet.  I spoke to Ed this weekend and although he does not remember this particular session he does remember playing with these two friends and commented that it was probably recorded their last year of high school.  

          I really appreciate the casual nature of the recording as you can hear some talking and foot stomping.  It really gives you the feeling of being there in 1940 listening to three guys playing jazz and having a good time.

         Thanks to Michael Graves for helping with this restoration. You can check out more about his restoration and mastering projects on his website.  

         Listen below to the before and after versions of “Sweet Sue, Just You” as played by Ed and his friends in 1940.  Best buried treasure I’ve found in a while…

    • June 2, 2014 9:18 pm

      I wrote out the first two choruses of this Ray Brown bassline for a student who is working on “All of Me”.   It comes from the Oscar Peterson album A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra that was released in 1959.  This tune sounds nice in Ab and it’s fun to play along with Ray on the Piano.  Next I just need to work up the O. P. in the right hand.  Good luck…

    • May 31, 2014 12:05 pm

      Here’s Take 2 of Thelonious Monk’s solo version of ‘Body and Soul’, an alternate take from the 1963 album Monk’s Dream.  I didn’t include the melody and it’s only the first chorus, but it captures a large part of what makes his version so unique.  It’s obviously very chromatic, so I decided to write it without a key signature to (hopefully) make it easier to read.  Comments and revisions are always welcome.

    • May 30, 2014 8:07 pm
      
I always forget the chords to this great Paul Simon tune, so I finally wrote them out for piano.  (They’re voiced pretty close to how the guitar plays them on the rekkid).  ’50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’ by Paul Simon/ Steve Gadd.  View high resolution

      I always forget the chords to this great Paul Simon tune, so I finally wrote them out for piano.  (They’re voiced pretty close to how the guitar plays them on the rekkid).  ’50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’ by Paul Simon/ Steve Gadd. 

    • May 29, 2014 10:07 pm
      Anonymous:  I loved your playing of 'The Song is Ended but the Melody Lingers On'. I'm intending to learn it and play it on the guitar, but it would really help to have the notation as a guide. Would it be possible to download the music?

      Thanks!  The sheet music is copyrighted but here’s a blog that has a preview of the sheet music and features the A sections.  

      http://bit.ly/1ks34QZ

      The B section is:

      Gm    |Gm    |A-7b5      |A-7b5

      D7     |D7      |G-7 C7    |F-7 Bb7

    • May 29, 2014 9:43 pm
      29 plays

      Early jazz drummer Warren “Baby” Dodds played with Joe Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong and is on some of the earliest recordings featuring the drum set.  In an attempt to better understand New Orleans drumming, I transcribed his bass drum comping on “When the Saints”.  This partial track begins at measure 30 and shows some classic new orleans syncopation.  Let me know if anyone finds any mistakes; if you see something, say something.

    • April 26, 2014 12:37 am
      Thanks to Bob Brussack for this great photo of our last show at Hendershot’s in Athens! You can find him here on tumblr.   
Louis Romanos on Drums and Luca Lombardi on Bass

      Thanks to Bob Brussack for this great photo of our last show at Hendershot’s in Athens! You can find him here on tumblr.   

      Louis Romanos on Drums and Luca Lombardi on Bass

    • January 28, 2014 4:14 pm
    • January 20, 2014 12:03 am
      79 plays

      Reading my grandmother’s sheet music.  Here’s a tune by Irving Berlin and Beda Loehner from 1927 The Song Is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On).  

      Lyrics:

      My thoughts go back to a heavenly dance
      A moment of bliss we spent
      Our hearts were filled with a song of romance
      As into the night we went
      And sang to our hearts’ content


      The song is ended
      But the melody lingers on
      You and the song are gone
      But the melody lingers on

      The night was splendid
      And the melody seemed to say
      "Summer will pass away
      Take your happiness while you may”

      There ‘neath the light of the moon
      We sang a love song that ended too soon

      The moon descended
      And I found with the break of dawn
      You and the song had gone
      But the melody lingers on