This is my latest selection of solo recordings loosely organized as a compilation called "Season's Greetings From Bradley Beach". I suspect that many folks will find this a precocious, pretentious title considering that Bruce Springsteen's debut album is entitled "Greetings From Asbury Park". Oh well, made you look! The album was in fact recorded in Bradley Beach, NJ and there are some holiday tunes on it so I opted for a cheap promotional strategy in an effort to garner a bit of attention :) The release is actually comprised of my usual assortment of songs, blues, soundscapes, and abstract weirdness..
This is actually my eleventh solo release and represents the most recent stuff I've wrestled out of my head and on to the hard drive. Here are my track descriptions - please feel free to leave some comments that express your own opinion:
Christmas Cat and Merry Mouse - Basically this is the same as "Playing Cat and Mouse" from Late Bloomer, but I've been working with a great sax player named Matt G. Lott and couldn't resist putting out another version of the tune incorporating his great sax playing.. Also went for a dryer, late night at Rudy Van Gelder's type vibe - I don't claim I achieved it, but it was a worthwhile aspiration..
Christmas Blues - Raunchy, bawdy, and rambuncious, this was recorded during the Christmas Season of 2007, Christmas Blues is an anti-Christmas blues rant that addresses the other side of the Holly Jolly Hub Bub. For all the silver and gold, there is also a lot of suffering, despair, and disillusion experienced by many during this "most wonderful" time of the year. This one goes out to the Grinch in all of us!
From A Backyard in Bradley Beach - I enjoyed some really cool, cosmic jams with some great musicians this summer. This was an improvisation recollecting these events and giving out an affectionate shout out to a cool narrowcaster named Uncle Shag at WLSO.FM who is nice enough to play my wacky stuff now and again! Thanks to Rick Barry for inspiring the song title. He's got a tune called "From A Backyard In Belmar" on his brilliant debut album.
December 21, 2012 - a techno/metal mantra to accompany contemplation of the end of the Mayan calendar, Revelation, etc. Are "end times" coming? I hope so. I hope we can soon end all the ignorance, greed, and suffering and transform our world into a society led by cooperation and compassion, instead of being misled by conflict and cruelty..
Mexicali Meets Main Street - Like it or not, many of our communities are overrun with illegal immigrants. Obviously our government has allowed this to happen, so they can supply cheap slave labor and businesses can avoid paying for employee benefits, taxes, etc. Its not their fault, most immigrants are just seeking a better life, but its at the expense of working class Americans who watch their wages stagnate.
Cowboys and Indians - This song addresses my point that is preferable to be an Indian than a Cowboy. I wrote it many years ago in response to Jon Bon Jovi’s steady stream of wanna be cowboy tunes.
Where Jon writes about blazing in glory, I write about abandoning pride – letting go of the ego and being guided by cooperation rather than competition.
While some artists pursue wealth and fame, others search for love and the higher meaning of life.
Cowboys like the much celebrated Buffalo Bill used to kill for sport and litter the prairie with dead carcasses. Conversely, most Indians were stewards of the Earth, they ate what they killed and used every piece of bone, skin, and tissue for the tools and materials they needed for sustainable survival.
All these years later, 60 minutes interviews Jon Bon Jovi in a luxury helicopter doing victory laps around GIANTS Stadium before performing at Al Gore's Live Earth concert.
Isn't it kind of perverse to be sitting there ego stroking yourself in a gas guzzling helicopter when your supposed to be singing about saving the environment?
Happiness (Goodbye Jack) - Dedicated to the recently deceased Jack Young of Phantom's Opera, one of the most important, influential, and inspirational mentors of my life. Working together we sometimes fought like hell and endured serious issues with each other, but fundamentally Jack was a truly great human being. He was kind, charitable, generous, and a hugely talented songwriter and a gifted musician. He was also a profound influence and inspiration to some of the most successful and talented players NJ has ever known. Guys from Ace Frehley's band, Bon Jovi, Message, Prophet, and Symphony X just to name just a few. He will be dearly and sorely missed, but the music he composed and recorded with the various members of the rock & roll fraternity known as Phantom's Opera will last forever..
Love Will Come – This is just some hippie dippie, trippy, stream of consciousness mantra fooling around in logic atudio..
Little Drummer Boy – a classic Christmas cover messing around with my family..
Je Vous Manque – a pretentious French title to dress up this weird rhumba? Is that what this is?
Profoundly Bad Jazz - I love and respect jazz, but have little understanding of it, despite my gigantic ignorance I often embark upon enthusiastic sonic adventures that ultimately manifest as.. profoundly bad jazz..
Christmas Time - Perhaps the worst, corniest song of all time! It was written for my daughter's Mother many years ago and I guess I just wanted my Daughter to know that there was a love there for her Mom at some point and that I just wanted to somehow connect her with it, make her understand it, validate something? I'm not sure what I'm trying to say, but it was a Christmas tune I wrote twenty years ago and I figured it would fit in with this loose Holiday theme somehow..
Exultation With A New Toy - I recently purchased a new weighted action Yamaha digital piano. I was just ecstatic playing with a new toy and came up with this silly beat..
Let Freedom Ring (4th of July, Bradley Beach) - Not sure what the hell this song is about.. There is so much political polarization in this country. I tend to be a fervent Dennis Kucinich supporter, but at the same time I respect the values and traditions of some true conservatives too. "Let Freedom Ring" acknowledges the perspective of the religious right, yet challenges it through the accords of its own precepts. What would Jesus say about contemporary society? How would he punish our leaders who have lied and been responsible for the senseless death of so many soldiers and civilians? What have we become? Where is our compassion, kindness, and decency? Isn't this fundamentally what Jesus was talking about? To obey the golden rule and do onto others as we would have others do to us?
Silent Night - I figured there's so many mundane mediocre versions of this tune that I might as well add my own to the mix!
Happy New Year- another 12 bar blues rant lamenting hard times and wishing for better ones..
Stratocumulus - Kind of a Dave Gilmourish/Doors vibe, a mellow musical mantra that goes great with a bike ride on the boardwalk under grey skies with the clouds rolling in..