Song Stories

Greetings Good Folks, I’m writing to you nice and early, the sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds and as Dianne Reeve’s mom would say, “it’s gonna be a good day.”

Blending in with last week’s gigs and recording sessions, I also spent a good chunk of time upgrading the music store on my website. It turns out that the software had gotten behind on some revisions and since then some new more streamlined features had been added. It makes the whole process a better ride for the user. It’s looking good and explore it here if you want.

While doing the website tweaking I ended up listening to many of the CD projects offered at the store. It’s a weird balance creating a recording and that is, you spend your life immersed in the creation of the music and then when it’s done, literally a handful of years might go by where you even hear it again.

Does it still ring true?

I’m happy to report it was great listening to the tunes again and they still sound good to my ear. Each song got me thinking back to the story that led up to the song, how it was first written and how it all unfolded in the studio. This tangent led to the idea of sharing these tune tales, these song stories within a weekly section of my gig email. I’m calling it Song Stories and I think it’ll be a hoot. See below for it’s maiden voyage.

Denise Donatelli

Good news! Denise Donatelli’s Soul Shadows CD that I played on is nominated for a 2013 Grammy in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. Fingers crossed!




Dialogue of Equals

A good friend of mine and a wonderful composer and pianist has just released a new recording called Dialogue of Equals. His name is Michael David Singer and he, along with cellist Chia-Ling Chien, met up at SpragueLand a couple of months back to document Michael’s brilliant composition. The piece is in sonata form and sounds kind of classical but has some of Michael’s rock and jazz influences filtered in too. The sound of piano and cello together is absolute magic! I am thrilled that Dialogue of Equals is now living happily at CD Baby awaiting your interest and enthusiasm. Check it out!

Up for this week, I’m stoked to be heading to The Roxy tomorrow night for some solo guitar explorations. I’m told John Minchin might make it down for a harmonica romp plus violinist Chris Vitas has also hinted that falafels and a samba tune might be in the works for him too. Hope to see you all there.

Last up for this week, on Saturday night I’m playing a Dizzy’s concert with fireball Latin pianist Irving Flores. Irving plays a lot around town including gigs with Gilbert Castellanos and his own group. He’s been mixing a CD at SpragueLand and we got a chance to add a duet to the project at the last minute. This train of thought then took us to the great piano and the good sound over at the new Dizzy’s. And there you have it, it’s all going down this week and it plans to be a great night of music. Look to the gig calendar for the fine print.

Back in 1993 we released a CD called Blurring the Edges. The band was my brother Tripp, our dad Hall Sprague, guitarist Fred Benedetti and me. I knew Fred could tackle a barrage of tricky notes, set to a brisk tempo. With this inspiration I set out to write a 2 part counterpoint Bach goes to Brasil angled song. This style of Brazilian counterpoint  music is called choro. For us guitarists, the key of D is holy grail and that’s because it includes some open strings plus it sits beautifully on the guitar neck. I named my tune “Desamba” because it’s both a samba in the key of D, and there’s also something Cole Porter-ish about it. How about “it’s delovely, it’s delightlful, it’s desamba?” We’re still playing this song these days in fact Irving and I are readying it for this week’s Dizzy’s hit. Have a listen here.

That’s it folks and thanks for reading along.
adios, Peter