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Jimmy Macbride

Lullaby for an Old Friend | Hear & Now Live in Studio Ep. 8

Lullaby for an Old Friend | Hear & Now Live in Studio Ep. 8

This week's Wednesday Watch is a throwback to the recording session for the new album "Hear & Now" ! 

I wrote this piece for an old friend of mine who passed away too soon. It's not just about him passing away, but it's a celebration of life. It's a journey through the melancholy, the bittersweet, but ultimately the joy of having great friends.

Please enjoy, and share "Lullaby for an Old Friend" 

Ft. Lucas Pino, Glenn Zaleski, Jimmy Macbride, Dave Baron, Alex Wintz

Check out that killer cup mute at www.facetmutes.com!

See ya next week - Nick

One of My Favorite Cole Porter Compositions...

Today we're featuring an original arrangement of one of my favorite Cole Porter compositions, his tune "What is This Thing Called Love?" Although it's a widely played tune, it has always stuck with me. I think this could be because this tune appears on the first JJ Johnson record that I started listening to when i was first falling in love with jazz - "JJ in Person!" ( which somewhat ironically, indicates on the liner notes of the LP that it was recorded at a live performance in Rochester, NY! Although, the applause may or may not sound dubbed in... I'll let you decide for yourself!). 

I always loved the way JJ augmented the form of a tune by adding introductions and interludes that used material from the tune. I tried to draw from that inspiration by adding both an introduction and interlude, allowing both the drummer and the soloists a moment to step out in front of the band to be featured before the ensemble plays all together. After hearing the recording of this arrangement back, I can't help but to acknowledge the Slide Hampton influence on the presentation of this composition. 

I can't wait to hear what you all think of the arrangement! Please share and leave a comment!

Until next week - be well!

- Nick  

Pop and Jazz, a Marriage since the birth of the Music - Stevie Wonder Cover - Overjoyed

Too many amazing musicians have been leaving us as of late, and it has made me think about trying to show these musicians our love and appreciation while they can still receive it! Most recently we lost the genius of Prince - but another one of the greatest songwriters of the second half of the 20th century is still going strong, and I hope we can continue to appreciate him while he’s still with us! The man I’m talking about is the amazing Stevie Wonder.

The new video for this week features one of my all time Stevie Wonder favorites: “Overjoyed.” I’ve recorded this once before in a duo setting with my good friend and pianist Chris Ziemba. I’ve also played it on tour all over the country in the quartet setting, and it is always a treat to perform. 

In this arrangement I’ve taken the usual format of the song, and put a new spin on it. Changing the meter and adding some additional harmonies, I think this tune translates fantastically across genre boundaries. To me, this song has all the same great melodic qualities of tunes written by the great song writers of the first half the 20th century. Strong melodies and harmonic shapes that lend themselves to be interpreted in a multitude of ways. Stevie Wonder is right up there with Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, etc.

This video features the great musicianship of my longtime collaborators Jimmy Macbride, Chris Ziemba, and Dave Baron. I hope you enjoy!

Let me know what you think of this in the comments, and if you like what you hear, share with your friends! 

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Nick Finzer - Songs & Stories Quartet - Maria (Leonard Bernstein) from West Side Story

Maria by Leonard Bernstein; arranged by Nick Finzer

In addition to my band Hear&Now Ive been working on a number of other projects, that not only feature my original music, but some arrangements I’ve done of other peoples music. The concept for my latest quartet project - the Songs & Stories quartet - is to reimagine and recreate some iconic pieces from the jazz repertoire as well as music that has a connection to my life. 

The new video that Im sharing today, features one of these pieces that has been influential on my musical development. This video is an arrangement I did of Leonard Bernsteins composition Maria from the musical West Side Story.

Featuring: Chris Ziemba (piano), Dave Baron (bass) and Jimmy Macbride (drums)

This song has stayed with me since the beginning of my musical upbringing. Some of my earliest memories of elementary school music classes I have include watching the movie version of West Side Story. While I was in middle school, my main focus wasnt actually trombone, but singing. When I was in 7th grade I performed “Maria as part of a musical theatre-themed choir concert. At the time, having a solo piece in the midst of this choir concert seemed like a big deal! And my family remembers it as one of the important moments in my musical beginnings. 

When I was brainstorming repertoire for this new project, I wanted to include music that has a strong personal story connection - and this one certainly has that. There have been a few jazz renditions of this tune (notably by Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond), but I think we presented a new take on this beautiful song. If you enjoy the video, I hope youll share it with your communities, and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section! 

Until next time, 

- Nick

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Exposition Released Today!

Nick's Debut Album Exposition is Released Today!

Greetings Friends, Fans, and Family,

Happy New Year! I hope your year is off to a great start. Things are picking up for me here in New York, and today is especially exciting. Today marks the release of my first album as a leader, Exposition. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out, and I hope you all will be too.

The band features some great colleagues that I attended The Juilliard School with:
Lucas Pino - Tenor Saxophone
Alex Wintz - Guitar
Samora Pinderhughes - Piano
Dave Baron - Bass
Jimmy Macbride - Drums

This release marks the culmination of this project which started in April of 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign. Thank you again, to all of the people who backed the project! The success of that Kickstarter campaign really got the ball rolling. Thank you backers! There is a great Video Preview of Exposition by Marie LeClaire on YouTube HERE.


Starting today, you will be able to find Exposition for sale online at CDBaby.comiTunesAmazon, and some limited edition copies for sale through the online store on my website. It will also be available to stream on services like Pandora and Spotify. Please visit my website at www.nickfinzermusic.com for links to these retailers.

I will be celebrating the release of Exposition with two official CD release events. Here in NYC it will be held Sunday, February 10th at The National, and a two part CD Release event in Rochester on Wednesday February 13th. See the listing information below:

NYC Release:

Sunday, February 10th, 2013
The National (50th St and Lexington Ave)
Sets at 7 & 830PM
No Cover Charge or Minimum

Rochester Release:

Part I
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Live Radio Broadcast at Jazz 90.1 FM (Online stream available worldwide at www.jazz901.org)
7 - 8PM
Featuring compositions commissioned through Exposition's Kickstarter Campaign. 

Part II
930PM
Lovin' Cup
300 Park Pointe Dr.
Rochester, NY 14623
$5 Cover

I certainly hope you might be able to join us for one of these performances! You can connect to the official facebook event pages by clicking HERE for NYC or HERE for ROCHESTER

New Gigs of Note:
Sunday March 24th at Shapeshifter Lab - Double Bill with Lucas Pino's No Net Nonet
Thursday April 11th at Bar Next Door Emerging Artist Series - with Dave Baron and Jimmy Macbride


Thank you all for taking the time to read this note, and for your continued interest in me and my music! 

Best wishes for a prosperous 2013!

- Nick

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