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MP3 Shep Meyers - Originals

Six diverse original tunes by Shep Meyers plus one by Richard Twardzik in an Adult Contemporary Jazz format featuring tenor saxophonist, Jay Migliori, and pianist Shep Meyers.

7 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Fusion, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo

“Originals” was recorded in one-three hour session in May, 1994. The Quintet features the tenor saxophone of the late Jay Migliori. Jay was a “Walking History of Jazz”. He recorded an album with Charlie Parker, and another album with Miles Davis. He also played with Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, and a myriad of other Jazz greats. Jay was a charter member of the Grammy Award winning group “Supersax", and was a Los Angeles studio musician who doubled on all the saxophones, flutes and recorders, and appeared on over 5,000 recordings. Jay traveled 150 miles every Tuesday for almost ten years to play straight-ahead Jazz with my Quartet at Croce’s Jazz Bar here in San Diego.

In 1994, Jazz Fusion was the rage, and we decided to record a “demo” for the Adult Contemporary Jazz market, with the hope of landing a recording deal with a major label. I composed six different sounding tunes, and we added Richard Twardzik’s “Yellow Tango” to the menu. We also added percusssionist Tommy Aros, who plays with Latin superstar, Luis Miguel. Unfortunately, we only had one rehearsal for the recording, and when we recorded, almost every tune was a one-take affair, but the Music is vibrant, and goes far beyond the “elevator music” concept in its variety, execution, and spirit.

“Tune For Benjy” is a bright samba written for my son, who is a bright samba. Jay states the single note melody alone, and is joined by the rest of the group, and the tune swings to the end.

“Yellow Tango” by Richard Twardzik, is a great piece that goes back and forth from a tango beat to a swing beat.

“The Desert” is a mini-work in three parts that visually depicts a day in the desert from dawn to dusk. Bassist Rob Thorsen begins a bowed classical prelude which evolves into an almost raga kind of feeling in 3/4 time. This rhythm builds into the main melody, followed by solos, capped off by a wonderful percusssion exchange between drummer Bob Weller and percusssionist Tommy Aros, who solo over a bass and piano ostinato. This solo builds to a repeat of the main melody, and then it fades out in the same way as it began. Visually, I tried to depict this tune as an intense camel ride within the cycle of a full day in the desert.

“Angeline” was written for my ex-wife, and it basically a one-chord theme with a bridge. After the fact, I realized that the main theme works great as a canon.

“Lady Faye” was written for a woman I knew in the ‘80’s. It’s sort of a blues with a bridge.

“Love Match” is a ballad I wrote for Jay and Patti Migliori’s wedding. Jay honored me as his “Best Man”, and this song was my gift to them on their wedding day.

“Sea Dance” was inspired by the Pacific Ocean. I lived a block from the beach, and everyday for many years I would sit on the rocks, meditate and contemplate the vastness, power and mystery of the sea as the waves came crashing in. In my heart of hearts, I want to revisit this tune and write it for symphony orchestra, since there are so many elements and possibilities, but for now it will have to convey its message in this Quintet context.

This CD is a departure for me both as a pianist and as a composer. It’s not bebop, but it is interesting Music played by five enthusiastic Jazz musicians, and in that light, it is our hope that you truly enjoy “Originals”.

Shep Meyers--San Diego, May, 2007

CD Title: Originals
Year: 1994
Record Label: Shep Meyers Music
Style: Contemporary Jazz
Musicians: Shep Meyers (p), Jay Migliori (ts), Rob Thorsen (b), Bob Weller (d), Tommy Aros ( percussion)

Review: This recording features six original tunes by Shep Meyers and one addition by the late Pianist Richard Twardzik, who incidentally, was greatly admired by Charlie Parker,

Twardzik''s composition "Yellow Tango" has a superb melody, a dynamic Tenor solo by Jay Migliori (who has also sadly passed on). The Bass of Rob Thorsen is strong in accompaniment and equally as robust in his solo. A sensitive Piano offering by Meyers is the coup de maitre of a very fine intellectual creation.

"Love Match" has a thought provoking message with a sense of sadness that is prevalent in the theme. One feels that there is a underlying artistic discourse which the author (Meyers) lays out beautifully in his keyboard reflections and musical monologue. Thorsen''s warm Bass weaves a soulful story and Migliori, as always, lends his magic to this exquisite song.

Tracks: Angeline, Tune For Benjy, The Desert, Yellow Tango, Love Match, Lady Fay, Sea Dance

This is a lovely album to add to any collection.

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