Musical Stuff

Q. How do you get $1,000,000 recording jazz on the Chromatic Harmonica?
A. Start with $2,000,000.

Here are some fun tunes that I've recorded over the last few years, as I figure out this 'interesting' instrument, and wonder where this will end. (Other than The Obvious.) Have a listen if the mood strikes you. More tunes coming at some point.

I just bought an EastTop chromatic for the fun of it, (obviously avoiding Practice) and recorded two tunes on it...a very inexpensive instrument but well-built, and, for the money, very good. Probably less fussy that my Hohners.

The sound I get from my box of Deluxes is more what I want, but the ET is really close, and I was able to record a couple of tunes with no real learning curve. I've been wondering how much of the sound it actually IN the machine, as opposed to IN the player (in this case, me). I'd say that it's about ten percent the machine, and I get the blame for the rest.

So on that instrument, I recorded a very short version of Blue Bossa and a longer one of This Is All I Ask...both fine tunes.

The penultimate musical adventure was Yet Another Version of Bluesette, by the recently-Late (and still Great) Toots Thielemans, arranged by my friend Kim Richmond, (thanks Kim).

The melody will come to those who have Patience.

The score will come to those who hit this link.

All but one are on chromatic harmonica, the "one" being "When Sunny Gets Blue", for which I went into my basement and pulled out my alto sax, which had been there, willfully ignored, for some still worked. (The Basement Possums apparently don't have appendages that lend themselves to opening locks.)

For anyone interested in trying the middle part of Django, here's the score.

There's also a new (April 4, 2015) practice track from David Naiditch, where, for some reason, he felt it would be interesting to see how The "Jazzy" Blues can be played in all keys, consecutively, keeping the same level of mediocrity throughout, (for me, not David) as the keys come and the keys go, while you play with one hand and wave your other hand like Queen Elizabeth did in her younger years. (I think the purpose of The Wave is so that, as you go thru the exercise, you can wave "goodby and good riddance" to each key as it leaves.)

David has his version on his site, and I have mine here.
If you really want to ruin a perfectly good day or two, you can download the track without any harmonica on it and see just how much fun it is. It's an exercise worth doing, I'm told.

In several places, on some of the tunes, if you listen carefully, you might hear garbage trucks in the background, which means it was recorded on a Tuesday at my mom's house in Berkeley. If you hear a few gunshots in the background, then it was recorded at my place in Van Nuys, on a day of a week.


If you like this music, I'm glad, and we should partially blame my teacher, Tommy Morgan, an up and coming chromatic harmonica player here in Los Angeles, who's done a bit of recording and has been of Great Help in my venture into this alarmingly strange instrument.  You've heard him, even if you don't think you have. I suppose the same could be said of me, I guess, if you're older and have had really poor quality control over your television viewing for the last 43 years.

My goal is to be a musician who plays harmonica, rather than becoming a harmonica player, as well as playing jazz on the chromatic harmonica rather than playing what a friend of mine calls "harmonica jazz". could happen.

Playing The Music, as opposed to Playing The Instrument, is another goal.

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