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Blues for Alice


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Description
I'm having fun with my new Christmas toy (Apogee Duet, thanks to Jennifer, my wife!); I had no easy way of doing live recordings previously, but this preamp/interface makes it a piece of cake, hence my second submission in three days. My guitar was taken out of its case perhaps only three times in recent years, but now I'm enjoying playing again.

Blues for Alice is one of the first jazz tunes I ever learned — for some reason, the first several jazz tunes I played were all by Charlie Parker, and I became an instant fan of his music. In this recording I play the solo guitar and the rhythm guitar, and the bass was done via the pencil tool in Garageband.

Here's some info about the piece:

"Blues For Alice" was recorded in New York, August 8, 1951, by Charlie Parker (alto sax), Red Rodney (trumpet), John Lewis (piano), Ray Brown (bass), and Kenny Clarke (drums).

"Blues for Alice" is a classic old-school jazz jam that showcases Charlie Parker's innovative sax style within a context that he singlehandedly pioneered... The chord changes are atypical of what is commonly known as "blues," in that the form is extended beyond the genre's regularly expected form. Also, the tone of the [composition] is much more positive than is normal for such a genre as "blues." However, transforming the aural character of pre-established musical forms into something uncharacteristically offbeat was one of the things that Parker did best, and, here, no exceptions to the rule are made.
(Reviewed by Marcus Singletary at Jazz.com)
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Song Stats
Hits: 3767
Comments: 78
Fans: 38
Plays: 161
Downloads: 71

Uploaded: Dec 28, 2010 - 09:41:40 PM
Last Updated: Dec 28, 2010 - 09:53:40 PM Last Played: May 01, 2017 - 10:01:43 PM
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Comments
SpaceAlien said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
light
And a gentle tone.
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Thank you, kind alien! Enjoyed your latest funk tune!
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VicDiesel said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
12 bars
and I recognize in a metaphorical sense something of the tension in a regular blues progression, but otherwise, yes, this is not your regular jam session blues.

I enjoy your playing here. Quite nice.

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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed it!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
KCsGROOVE said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Fine playing here!
Really nice version!
Dig the guitarwork!
KC
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks for the kind comment, and I also enjoyed your latest!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Feter said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Blues for Alice
Wow ...you play the guitar with very wonderful emotions ..what a touch ..what a classy track ..love the tool job ...kudos all I can say !!
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
You are very thoughtful to leave such a nice comment, which I very much appreciate!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
guitapick said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
What a treat...
...that was a Christmas present for all of us...

Great to hear you on the guitar, Clark. No wonder you teach...fine playing...
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
I admire your guitar skills tremendously, so it means a lot that you enjoyed this!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ed Hannifin said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Well, that answers...
...PART of my previous question... You got a Duet.... I pause for appropriately reverent envy....

And what microphone are you using with it? Sounds very 'right', very natural...

I'm really enjoying your playing now that I'm getting to hear some, Clark... So in addition to composing you are also a player of some notable skill and sensitivity... I will now go hide under TWO blankets...
composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
I am using an Audio Technica AD825 stereo mike, and I am very happy with the sound I am getting from it and the Duet. I know next to nothing about this stuff, and I am not even sure when or why I got the Audio Technica... I looked it up just now and discovered that it has been discontinued, but was apparently considered a pretty decent mike. I suspect that I picked it up for considerably less money than retail when it was discontinued, planning to use it some day, but I never used it 'till just a few days ago. The settings I use in Garageband are a little reverb and an equalizer preset called "Big Drum," which I think produces a slightly fuller sound.

The main ingredient in the sound is perhaps the guitar, which is a Masaki Sakurai model "Excellent" classical guitar, about 30 years old, with 3-4 year old strings. As I said in my description, it's been sitting in its case mostly unused for several years, so it is a real pleasure to play it again.

When I was much younger I had fantasies of becoming a jazz guitarist, but then I became obsessed with composing, and guitar playing kind of fell by the wayside, becoming a recreational thing.

Anyway, thanks for the very kind words, and I'm very pleased that you liked it!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Correction:
Ah, that should be an AT-825 stereo mike. AD is something quite different.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
ktb said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
if
you hadn't mentioned the pencil tool I would have assumed you had uber bass chops as well :-) Its the velocity settings you so deftly integrated with the bass notes that make it so natural sounding. A really 'warm' recording. Skillfully done.
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Yeah, I thought of not mentioning the bass, but then it occurred to me that someone might think I actually played it, which of course I didn't, but I was quite pleased with the way it came out. Glad you enjoyed it!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
magnatone said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Blues for Alice
Clark, this is just magnificent! what a total master you are, and what a gift to be able to just hit "play" and hear you go to town! i hope you're having a terrific holiday season, and it's so COOL to have 2 uploads from you in short succession - keep them coming! All the best to you and your family!
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks Karen! Season's greetings to you and yours as well, and happy new year as well! My playing sounds pretty amateurish to me, but I really appreciate the compliment nonetheless!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ibstrat said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Wow
I really like the mellow expressive way you play this.Too many people play it like a contest to see if they can set the speed record.Keep recording that guitar, it sounds fantastic!
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks Mark; you are one of my inspirations for me hauling out my guitar and attempting to play it again. My choice of tempo is partly that I like it at this speed, but mostly it's because I can't play any faster... I appreciate the encouragement.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Cori Ander said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Wow
Wow, you also play the guitar! You didn't tell us before .. ! .. (or I didn't listen) ... And very good too! This is surely pretty. And such a clean and nice tone you got in this recording. It is amazing how you can play so well after having kept the guitar in its box for so long. Deep bows (I took that line from you ziti, but I really mean it).
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks Johannes! Yeah, the guitar is my instrument, started out playing folk and rock, then jazz, then classical, then gospel, then it kind of got put away for a few years. I never actually got very good at any of those musical genres, but I always enjoyed playing, so I'm going to try to do a little more of that in the coming year. "Deep Bows" is a great line, very classy, and as long as Ziti doesn't mind you using it, I don't either!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Cori Ander said 2486 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
:)

Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Mosaica said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Unexpected
Clicking on 'play' before I had read your description took me by surprise with things like the chord changes and tempo etc, but you explain it all here! Lovely guitar playing, it kind of makes this piece feel rather boho French!
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
And a seasonal Boho ho to you too! Glad you enjoyed the guitar playing... Almost all my submissions here at MacJams are my compositions played by others, so I was a little nervous about trying out the old guitar again. Thanks very much, and I LOVED your Puccini!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
ziti said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
wha?????
this is really hoppin'.....wow, really great playing CC! Full of life and joy and all that good stuff!

I had no idea you were a guitarist of such a high caliber....the guitar itself sounds amazing, espesh if the strings are that old.

very enjoyable listen!

deep bows
z
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Wow! A compliment from a fantastic guitarist that you are means a lot to me, let me tell ya... As I mentioned above in my reply to Ed Hannifin, when I was much younger I had fantasies of becoming a jazz guitarist one day, but then I began my doctorate in composition, and it kind of took over my life... Anyway, I am truly honored that you enjoyed this!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Cori Ander said 2486 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
deep bows
i said it first ziti :)
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
michaeljayklein said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Have not heard this in ages...
...and sounding ever so beautiful in your hands. Fantastic work Clark--I loved it start to finish and then some. You make that thing sing, let me tell you. Kudos for a fine job! Michael
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
A very gracious and kind comment, for which I thank you very much! All the best to you and your loved ones for the new year.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Moviz said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Love this
wonderful carefree kind of Jazz. The style reminds me of Django Reinhardt at the hot club of france, which was such a happy sound.... this is really beautiful..... love it, regards M
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks Maurice! Django was a musical genius, whose guitar chops and improvisational skills were second to none... I am a big fan too... And, although my own guitar skills suffer terribly by comparison, I nonetheless really appreciate the compliment! Best wishes to you and your loved ones for the new year!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
sloparts said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
On man this is great
Great music, and great to hear you playing the guitar. You be a player, Clark, and a fine one at that.

Aside from that, the recording and back track are very well mixed. I gotta say that Apogee really sounds good on the guitar parts.

Beautifully recorded and played my friend.

Ed
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks for the kind words, Ed; much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Char said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Very lovely
playing. Just a delight. Amazing how music can be made with beauty and a deft touch by someone with your gifts. Ah, yes, I enjoyed it. Thanks. :)
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
thanks
Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for the nice comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
H3nry said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Beautifully played
with a jaunty, light touch. Nice bass line, too. I've been looking at A-T's stereo mics and wondering how one would do on guitar. I think you've answered that. I'll keep an eye out for one. The Duet worked well too. I didn't hear it at all (as should be). I sure didn't sense any rust in your fingers. Gonna grab a copy. Thanks!
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composerclark said 2487 days ago (December 29th, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks! I am not exactly sure how different it would sound to record into a mono mike and then pan the signal to the center, but I am happy with how this came out. I understand the AT825 was designed as a "field" mike, i.e., to be used with a portable DAT recorder to make field recordings, but it seems to work fine for music recording too. In a field, that is...
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
BirdmanWayne94 said 2487 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
That's...
... great! WOW, 2 posts consecutively? You're one fine musician, Dr. Clark. Fantastic work here! I love this guitar stuff from you. Let's hear more :)
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composerclark said 2485 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
Thanks
As always, your comment is very generous and kind; thanks very much!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
sschedra said 2486 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
Clark,
Saw the forum post and went here. WOW! did you ever make the right choice. The Apogee has gotten great reviews and listening to the tones on your guitar here I am inclined to agree. Very rich and all nuances present. What mic did you use and what position did you place it in for the guitar?
Very well put together,
Stephen
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composerclark said 2485 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
Thanks
I'm very glad you enjoyed it! The mike was a Audio Technica AT825, a stereo microphone. I positioned it about 4-5 inches from the sound hole of the guitar, but I didn't really experiment at all with other mic placements; I will probably try that with future submissions, as I become more familiar with the recording process.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
bitfeld said 2486 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
Amazing
Excellent guitar and may I say: superbly penciled in! Apogee Duet looks eally very cool, so a bit of envy from me too. :)
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composerclark said 2485 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
Thanks
Glad you liked it! Pencilling in a track is pretty close to my normal method of writing music, which is to use a notation programme, so I was pretty comfortable with that, even though it is a less user-friendly way of entering notes than Finale.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
scofugate said 2486 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
Nice
Way to go!!!!
I am very impressed.KUDOS!!
Very nice job!!!!
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composerclark said 2485 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
Thanks
You are very kind! I appreciate the enthusiastic support very much. Cheers!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
PeterB7858 said 2486 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
Beautiful, natural sounding...
Beautiful, natural sounding piece. Really enjoyed the skilful, sensitive playing and the bass was a treat. Congratulations! Instant download. Warm regards, Peter.
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composerclark said 2485 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks so much for your nice comments! I just left one for your latest too, which I enjoyed very much.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
bud said 2486 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
Wow this is good
your chops are killer for someone whose guitar has been sitting in the case too long. I can't believe how good the penciled bass is too. Also the recording quality with your new gear is stellar. Congrats on the new toy - always brings new joy.
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composerclark said 2485 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
Thanks
I found it interesting that years of neglect (not playing) seems to have resulted in only a small decrease in my comfort level when playing guitar, which I attribute to the fact that my chops were never all that good in the first place!! But I really appreciate your nice comment! Enjoyed your latest very much.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
RAVENS said 2486 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
Lovely
What a soothing tune, perfect to listen to with my coffee. Great stuff!

RAVEN ;-)
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composerclark said 2485 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
Thanks
Thanks for stopping by and leaving the kind words! Just left a comment for your latest and wonderful track.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
davisamerica said 2485 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
wow....
...and downloaded.
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composerclark said 2483 days ago (January 2nd, 2011)
Wow...
Thanks!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Daugrin said 2484 days ago (January 1st, 2011)
Sweetness!
Just a little something to make the preacher dance...

Daug
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composerclark said 2483 days ago (January 2nd, 2011)
Thanks
It is a very sweet tune, I agree! But who's the preacher? ;-)
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
paul f. page said 2483 days ago (January 2nd, 2011)
beautiful
I've never heard the C.Parker version of this, but Incan't imagine it being played any better than this! Acoustic recordings are always so satisfying in the first place, but you've got to have the chops to make REAL music, and you definitely "score" in that arena. You've also apparently mastered that GB bass so that it sounds dry and real. It adds such a wonderful element to this whole arrangement. You are o e remarkable musician, Clark. What a joy to hear some very VERRY good music that is also played beautifully.
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composerclark said 2483 days ago (January 2nd, 2011)
Thanks
Thanks Paul, your generous comments are truly touching, and much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
billykirsch said 2483 days ago (January 2nd, 2011)
Fantastic
What a great present from your wife if it inspired you take the guitar again and delight us with your fantastic playing.

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composerclark said 2480 days ago (January 5th, 2011)
Thanks
But you are too kind, sir! Really enjoyed your latest, because of the striking similarities to this track! ;-)
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Bob Rodgers said 2481 days ago (January 4th, 2011)
It's
so good to hear this, lovely tone with a great expressive feel in your playing.
Very much enjoyed and thanks for the download.

Bob
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composerclark said 2480 days ago (January 5th, 2011)
Thanks
A pleasure to meet you, Bob; just left a comment for "Sunset."
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
hackneybloke said 2481 days ago (January 4th, 2011)
blues for alice
you should leave your guitar out of its case more often. and don't post too many in such a short space of time....soak up the love. this is cool.
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composerclark said 2480 days ago (January 5th, 2011)
Thanks
When I read "you should leave your guitar out…", at first I thought you were suggesting I refrain from using the guitar again, ever, which made a lot of sense to me! Then I read the rest and I realized it was a compliment, for which I am deeply appreciative! Really enjoyed your "Body of Theory." Brilliant.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Leon said 2480 days ago (January 5th, 2011)
Envious.
I wish I could be like you, make a living out of something I enjoy doing. Teaching music and making music are all on the same plane of artistic fulfillment. Your mastery shows in everything you do, and this one is just one example of that gift.
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composerclark said 2477 days ago (January 8th, 2011)
Thanks
The idea that teaching music and making it coexist on the same artistic level is a noble one, although I suspect a lot of people feel otherwise. I like your idea, though, and very much appreciate your generous comment.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
SISTERS said 2478 days ago (January 7th, 2011)
gloriously cool
i sure appreciate the sweet job you've done here. your sound comes across beautifully clear and crisp. Good Job, Jennifer! 8)
Anne
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composerclark said 2477 days ago (January 8th, 2011)
Thanks
Very nice of you to say so, and much appreciated! Just left a comment for your latest, which I thought was marvelous!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
lengold said 2474 days ago (January 11th, 2011)
If you
can play like this whilst out of practice, I dread to think how good you must be.
Very enjoyable listen.
Cheers
Len

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composerclark said 2474 days ago (January 11th, 2011)
Thanks
Strangely, my performance level is pretty similar whether I practice or not... For very challenging pieces it definitely helps to be in good playing shape, but for stuff like this, which involves improvisation, the performance level seems to be about the same whether I practice or not. The only thing I can think of that might explain it is that my brain is practicing music almost all the time, as part of the composing process, and for teaching as well. More info than you probably wanted to know, but I guess I'm just longwinded... Thanks again for the nice comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
kevmikwa said 2472 days ago (January 13th, 2011)
Well-recorded
I was anxious to hear the new interface ... I don't know just how much it affected the sound, but what you've got here is rich and deep with great presence. The upright you've chosen is big and full and everything just sounds great. Excellent pace ... the guitar comping definitely evokes a French jazz house. I also love the pseudo-dissonant tag on the final chord.

Thanks for sharing!
composerclark said 2451 days ago (February 3rd, 2011)
Thanks
I am really sorry to be so late in thanking you, but things got kind of crazy here for a while (we had a new music festival that I organize). Anyway, I always value your comments, so thanks for leaving one!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
thetiler said 2462 days ago (January 24th, 2011)
thanks
for the cool tune, was wondering when you going to play the guitar. i think it is terrific you have so many deep talents in music! I like how you stretch your music tastes. WAy to Go! Cool ending too!
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composerclark said 2451 days ago (February 3rd, 2011)
Thanks
Thanks, Bill, I am glad you enjoyed it. You are one of the best guitarists around!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Loob said 2443 days ago (February 11th, 2011)
Oh yeah... Class!
Schwing.... This is very laid back and well done! Thanks for sharing. I much enjoyed this!
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composerclark said 2439 days ago (February 15th, 2011)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed it, and many thanks for leaving a comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
dreadmon said 2429 days ago (February 25th, 2011)
Glad I caught this
For not having the guitar out of its case, you are fret-dancing nicely, Clark. Nice arrangement - fantastic mix!
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Macaudion said 2404 days ago (March 22nd, 2011)
very sweet
beautiful playing Ross! thank you, to your wife! more guitar! more! more! more! my soul really needed this tune on this particular morning so, thank you! dion
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Philip18 said 2290 days ago (July 15th, 2011)
Delightful
Love the tune, love the playing. I hear some of the style of Howard Alden and George Van Epps on their collaborations. Clever bass line, too. Much enjoyed!
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Name: Composition Blog
Location: St. John's Newfoundland Canada
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I've been teaching music composition and music theory at an east-coast university for 23 years, where I have also taught classical guitar and electronic music. I've been writing music for about 38 years, and still haven't figured out what I'm doing,... [see more]

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