New Jazz songs in the "American Songbook" style aka like Frank, Ella, Tony, "Ratpack" music like Las Vegas baby, Martini's, Dino, Satchmo an olive and a twist please bartender, echoes of an era where the men lived large.
My love of jazz and Blues started (as with most of us) from my parents around the house there was always "Dean" or "Elvis" playing (50's & 60's), My Dad had a Used car lot I remember all these 57 Chevies I loved to sit in em and listen to the radio, that's when I became aware of "Frank", crooning "Fly Me the the Moon".
A wearer of many musical hats, Denny's a tune smith currently writing for Boosey & Hawkes of the UK on their "Abaco" label. A diverse guy Abaco released "Delta Blues" in 2007 (iTunes), and he's got an "Americana" CD due out the 1st of 2009, in between writing songs for the "Earnest songbook.
Though he never formally played in Jazz bands early on, it was his writing that got him in the back door of the club, "I got hired to write 10 tunes for "Jazz a La Cart" CD in 1996 where I penned all these Jazz tunes, I hired horn players and it came out quite good. Its still in use today as Music beds, Underscore for TV etc."
His next Jazz foray was with the "Hot String Trio", an Acoustic Swing Trio with Upright bassist Bill Watson, Denny Jones on Violin, and Denny handling Guitar, Writing and Vocals - sort of a cross between Stephan Grappelli and Dan Hicks. (The later is for sale on iTunes& CDbaby)
"I currently live near the college town of Bozeman MT, and a few years ago I met Alan Fauque Jazz saxophonist, Mike Gillan percussionist and pianist Bob Britten. I started using them in my sessions, we recorded
a whole bunch of jazz tunes that are with various Publishers out there.
That's when I got the "Earnest Songbook" idea. I dedicated a whole year to just writing Jazz tunes with vocals, I tried to see how far i could take it.
The first of these I wrote was "Velvet Afternoon" I said to myself "This feels a little different and I tried to stay in the feel" The CD has a "Cocktail" feel 'Warning you are entering the "Frank" Zone', dress good and don't screw up,
keep your composure. My favorite tune on the songbook is "Let's Give It a Whirl" where I stumbled upon using different vocal styles conjuring up "Dino", Satchmo, and "Frank" of course set in Vegas, "roll the dice and watch em curl", that was my writing approach, roll the dice and see what happens. Rather than "writing, I think I'm a guy who likes to put together changes that are fun to play against and sing. Also I included a "Tom Waits" style song, me and Alan came up with this odd tune I call it "Guy Noir Music" after Garrison Keilors radio character, I thought what the hell Diana Krall did "Temptation" so I'll include "Mickey the Fin" its in the same vain, "Who's that in the alley, looking so cool"......
Composing Jazz is usually done on piano, so I had to think piano in my head and try to play it accordingly. I usually don't like "guitar" jazz as it makes me think of the Weather Channel or being on hold on the phone.
That being said, I still do love Wes, Joe Pass and all that, but I was trying
to be the Composer - Vocalist - Arranger, so I let Alan and Bob Britten do most of the solo work."
There's 3 instrumentals on the CD too, Alan gets to strut his stuff on the drifting "Zen Garden" showing off his Alto Chops, along with Denny's old Bassist from Cleveland Bill Watson, "Upright Piano Jazz" features Bob Britten on the upright Piano again with Bill on Bass, and the cool "Black Eyed Susan" a smoky textured tune with all the above and Denny on the Upright Bass.,
Denny and his band can be found playing in clubs and getting people on the a crowded dance floor with, a combination of Roots Jazz, Swing, Blues.
A little History
Although Denny's been mixing it up in the music world for a while now
he didn't start writing in earnest (hee hee) till 1996 with a song placement in "Friends" "One With the Tiny T Shirt", through a Music Library CD called "Hard Road" (Abaco Music/Boosey & Hawkes UK).
Denny has now worked for about a dozen Libraries/Publishers and has a very active career in placing songs for TV, Movies, and Production Music in
general. Placements in shows like “Judging Amy", "Simple Life #2", Fox's "Always Sunny In Philadelphia", "Road Rules", "Real World" MTV, "Blue Crush" the movie, has 5 songs placed this past winter in NBC's "Friday Night Lights" DVD edition, & Evergreen, Life DVD sets. and a new National Lampoon Movie "Bag Boy". A new Americana CD on Abaco Label (Boosey & Hawkes UK) is due out Jan 1 2009, where he finger picks his way through many genres of Folkly styling.