Viewing entries tagged
ziemba

Outside in Music Artist Interviews, Part 1

Today I wanted to take a chance to share two recent artist interviews I did with artists from my record label, Outside in Music (www.outsideinmusic.com)! In our recent "Meet the Artist" Initiative, we hosted interviews on Facebook Live to follow up on some of our releases from earlier in 2016 and back into 2015!

Episode #1 Features pianist Chris Ziemba and his release "Manhattan Lullaby" 

...and Episode #2 features saxophonist of Cowboys and Frenchmen Owen Broder talking about their release "RODEO"

Hope you enjoy! See ya next time...

- 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!