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To McBoy: 2 Peas in a Chili Pod



 Genre: Piano

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Over a year ago McBoy contacted me to begin a salsa collaboration with him. He send me a salsa track, since I told him I had never played salsa before, not with real salsa players, anyway. We never developed the track, altho I still want to collab with McBoy on something soon. But the effort did interest me and I had planned to write a salsa tune for my next solo piano project, 13 Masks.

So, the other night, I had a dream in which I was visiting the islands and played a gig with McBoy, learning his real name (which, sadly, I was unable to retain into the waking realm). I did remember the music, tho. I turned it into a track I call Two Peas in a Chili Pod. It is more like New Age Salsa than real salsa, sorry about that. The real salsa will have to wait for McBoy's version of the dream.

My favorite part is the solo vamp glissando thing I do toward the end. I had built the variations up and didn't know where to go, so I just decided (in my post-Monk phase) to try something I saw Monk do a bit of and was really happy about what came out.

Hope you like it, McBoy! You are irreplaceable here at MJ.

(P.S., this is the 4th and final track from the 13 track series I'll post, I think. I have actually completed 9 so far, a tenth one is written but not recorded yet. I've had a great time on them all and thank those of you who have commented on the series.)
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Other pre-mastered recordings from 13 Masks posted at Macjams:

Chromatisome Swing (tribute to Oscar Peterson)
A Monk Caught In The Thelonious Sphere
The Gumshoe Wears A Rag
Chaos of the Subconscious
You Make My Heart Skip A Beat

Song Stats
Hits: 7930
Comments: 49
Fans: 27
Plays: 449
Downloads: 202
Votes: 25
Uploaded: Jan 16, 2007 - 09:23:34 AM
Last Updated: Dec 26, 2007 - 09:36:12 AM Last Played: Jun 03, 2019 - 11:05:39 AM
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G5; Roland A90ex
Ivory plug in, Bosendorfer Imperial setting
chikoppi said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
You pink-haired devil you
Very cool! I love the quick phrases with the angular ascending chords and halting, stabbing bass line. I also enjoy the interplay of the right/left hand in this composition - maybe because there is such clear definition between the voices? There are some great moments when the two voices play in octaves with varied accents and rhythms.

The only salsa I know comes with cilantro, so this sounds more jazz to me than latin - though I can hear what I would call a Cuban influence that becomes progressively stronger as the song progresses.
Check out my latest song called Autopilot
TobinMueller said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
New Age Salsa
Thanks for noticing the interplay of left and right hands. I had a great time bouncing between octaves and pounding the bass notes, Ivory has some great lower keyboard note samples. You're right about this not being authentic salsa, that's why I called it "New Age Salsa" - really more jazz, altho I try to tend toward a salsa influence as I move thru the piece. But I never would have written it if I hadn't have had the salsa style ending in my ears, which is actually where I started the writing. Thanks for your careful and caring ears.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
poodyglitz said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
Speaking of Cuban influences, check out Chucho Valdez. He's a Cuban Jazz Pianist whom I think you'll really appreciate.

Great piece. Wish I could play like that. Perhaps if I lock myself away...

Here's my <a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/22184">last song posted</a> and <a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/17267">the one before it</a>.
Check out my latest song called Ersatz Prunes #2
said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
Awake or asleep...
your musical inspiration seems to find always, such an interesting expression. This time on this piano romp through... in and out of your dream. Tons of fun in listening to your fingers dance across the keyboard. Good one Mr. Tobin.
thoddi said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
Impressive coordination
I'm trying to imagine how you pulled this one off. Playing this stuff must have been incredibly challenging to coordinate your hands around.
It's just stunning how you have arranged this one, and also probably more stunning is how you have performed it.

It's way over my head, and even not something I would enjoy having on my stereo one romantic night;) But it must be quite enjoyable performing it... at least when you have the ability to play it like you do Tobin.

I especially enjoyed the child-friendly melody style near the end. Guess it must be 'cause I'm kind of childish:)

When the final salsa is to be put together, keep in mind that the claves is one of the most important perc instrument used... and of course.. I have a set of those waiting to be used;)
Check out my latest song called How can I make it up to you
TobinMueller said 3750 days ago (July 16th, 2009)
This is one of my favorite things to play that I've ever written. It not only incorporates nearly everything I've ever learned (or invented) regarding how to play the instrument, but I feel "hip" (and I rarely feel hip) when playing, very emotionally involved, truly "play" in every sense of the word. that last bit, with the bass stabs and right hand runs, is chaotic and wild, and sometimes hurts, but I think of Monk whenever I do it and it almost makes me well up with tears. Weird, I know. Not exactly a danceable salsa, but without all those salsas I've heard I could never have done this more intellectual chamber music piece.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
damiengh said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
Monkish for sure, but damn if I don't hear some Keith Jarrett in there too. And that ending, icing on the cake. As I said, Niccccccccccceeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Check out my latest song called Tea and Scones
TobinMueller said 3750 days ago (July 16th, 2009)
Keith Jarrett
Right. Jarrett is a much earlier influence, going back to my high school days. Monk is more a recent influence... I needed to get much better at playing to effectively study how Monk did what he did, so I feel, now, more an affinity to him. Also, I'm going crazy and find myself turning in circles at random times...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
peacepiano said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
Well Played
...Well thought out

...and still tons of fun!!!

Thanks for sharing this.
Check out my latest song called Beat SoloMe-O
said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
i chose the piano genre to hear your music, hit play, and took a deliciously unexpected journey with ears and eyes wide open to hear/see what would happen next. clear, crisp, confident, seemingly straight forward piano until the kinky harmony began to revealed itself at ~ :26. cool spots for me were :54, 1:26 - wonderful left hand sweep up. the part that delighted me most was at 2:00 - a hint of how crazy you might go lashing rhythms together. i just loved it! i didn't get the salsa flavor til end, but you reminded me slowly but very surely there. how do you mic your work? this didn't come out of a little machine, did it? it's so beautiful in its rich sound. bravo - anne

TobinMueller said 4660 days ago (January 18th, 2007)
I have struggled with mic'ing a piano thru the years, always a disappointing venture. I have been using a software plug-in this past year, Ivory by Synthogy. This project uses the Bosendorfer patch, slightly altered. My 2005 project (Morning Whispers, see Simig Records for more background on that recording) used the Steinway patch. If you search Ivory you'll hear some great examples of what the software can do. I like the in your face lack of reverb for this project, as if the mic is right in the body of the grand; it adds to the crazy elements of the music. Thanks for your comments
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4662 days ago (January 16th, 2007)
by the way - graphics are excellent! - esp. the one above for this piece. a
Ed Hannifin said 4661 days ago (January 17th, 2007)
Another one with Ivory...
...it's almost a supernatural piano sound...

I've heard even really nice pianos have a certain breaking up and 'beating' quality, especially in the low notes, when played, especially played hard, and this is just note-perfect... It's like the dream of piano players... sell your soul to the devil at the crossroads, and he gives you a piano that plays in tune on every note and combination of notes....

That's sound... It really does stand out on your (and Paul Page's) recent recordings...

And then we move into territory where I really don't have the vocabulary for what I'm hearing, except to say that the left and right hand stuff is like the musical analog of the 'tuned piano' thing that I'm hearing... playfully disparate elements coming together in a whole that manages to be one piece...

It really is almost fearfully intelligent...

Honestly, I don't hear a lot of salsa in this, but I do get this image of someone doing a salsa-like dance, with their top and bottom halves dancing to different parts of the rhythm... there's a unified dance happening with two discrete motions... Quite something....

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
TobinMueller said 4660 days ago (January 18th, 2007)
...fearfully intelligent...
Wow, way cool comments, Ed. Thanks. A body on the edge of tearing apart, starting one way and ending another, yet traveling a single road (even if going two ways at once); this is what I am going for on many of these Chaos tracks. Bubbling surreal-unconscious-insainty, under the surface, trying to be used in an artistic way. I'm thrilled with how you've characterized it. Thanks. Check out the webpage to hear the other drafts: 13 Masks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
rtcooper said 4661 days ago (January 17th, 2007)
Jazz always has that mystic when you hear what is not there and more than is there. This sure has it Going On.

(thought the Kit was a little back in the Mx, though).

Command of Styles and Influences at work here is stunningly fluent and joyful.

What a Work-Out!

Highest Regards,

Check out my latest song called The Loon and the Hula Moon (mstr)
Mcboy said 4661 days ago (January 17th, 2007)
deeply honored......
with this playful track....so much music from the ivory...from the mind...the soul.....i can hear such things as stride piano...monkish musings....bernstein snippits....and all sorts of musical thoughts.....outstanding pianistic whirlwind.....deeply honored...!
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
TobinMueller said 4661 days ago (January 17th, 2007)
McBoy, you are the Zorro of Macjams. The masked man with the lightning guitar. And huge heart. Your comments mean a lot to me. Thank you for being the sort of person who not only deserves tributes, but is humbled by them. A role model and wonderful dreammate.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Leon said 4661 days ago (January 17th, 2007)
From one legend to another
The rest of us can just sit back and watch this wonderful tribute unfold. It's like watching two Jedi masters wield and wave their laser swords in combat and the Padawans are just breathlessly taking pointers on the side. Tobin, needless to say, you are held in exalted status here for your masterful command of instruments and incredible musical sense. Your range of mastery (from Artsy to Zingy, if there is such a genre) is incredible, which is why we rely on your critiques to make us better musicians, even if sometimes they are bitter pills to swallow. Your honesty is also as amazing as your humility. To say that you do music well is like saying Jordan can bounce the ball well. It is way way beyond that. You move in the circles of great virtuosos and untouchable classical musicians. You strike the piano keys like McBoy does his guitar strings! Awesome, awesome... If there is a button that will auto-fav every song that you and Mcboy post, I will have that turned on!

One more thing.. your song art is a reflection of your level of craft music. They are a huge visual delight! Darn, is there anything you don't do well? Do you dance like Justin Timberlake, too? I know McBoy is an part-time GQ model based on his picture, so he's probably got one over you. He-he!
Check out my latest song called Just Another Day
TobinMueller said 4660 days ago (January 18th, 2007)
Thin wrists
Thank you for your wonderful comments. I truly appreciate them, very much.

As for dancing, I actually won several dance contests in my youth and have choreographed many dance numbers thru the years as a stage director, altho I truly was faking it the whole while. Indeed, I am no dancer. But I was a model in my 20s, they liked having actors on hand who could play characters for the camera, until the agency got so many complaints about my skinny wrists that they dropped me.

As for McBoys unmatched sexy looks, all I can say is I, too, am a McBoy fan.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
j2morrow said 4661 days ago (January 17th, 2007)
Cool tune
Excellent jazzy piano. Love the percussive feel to it.

I really like the artwork too. Where did you find those images? Or are they original images by someone. If so, who?

Odd, about dreams, isn't it? I've had a couple of songs given to me in dreams. Paintings and poetry too. Gifts from the gods, I call them.
Check out my latest song called CAPTURE THE RAPTURE
TobinMueller said 3736 days ago (July 30th, 2009)
percussive fee
Thanks. I was trying to create a rhythmic piece that made me want to hop and dance, or at least walk very quickly on a treadmill machine. I'm glad you enjoyed the percussive qualities. In my mind, this is much more about rhythm than anything else. And pounding the keys!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Z293 said 4661 days ago (January 17th, 2007)
Thoughts of warm relief
As the weather takes a turn in the Northeast, listening to this brings thoughts of being some place else sitting around relaxing and sipping a rum punch.
Check out my latest song called La Pavillon
TobinMueller said 3736 days ago (July 30th, 2009)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Slotogenic said 4661 days ago (January 17th, 2007)
Very interesting piano work
Very interesting arangement. I like how you played this. I don't know any musical terms for what you did here, just that it sounds really cool!
Bowman said 4660 days ago (January 18th, 2007)
I really liked the composition and the gusto with which you performed it. I could feel your joy coming off the keyboards. THRILLING!
Check out my latest song called THE LOST JEDI
Scott Carmichael said 4660 days ago (January 18th, 2007)
A Master and Monster
in our midst... I'm glad people can see/hear who you are Tobin.. and that they respond in kind... One of the greatest things about MJ is the provision of a forum that is not driven by comercial viability... and when I hear your work I muse on the forms and structures that I adhere to... I couldn't come close to your ability... You are obviously trained, but what you bring to the table is so far past training... there is a mingling of intelligence, playful spirit, seeker, and an old soul co-habitating with a young soul... all firing out through 10 fingers...

anyway... you show me that music can be so much more
Check out my latest song called He Has Passed this Way
TobinMueller said 4656 days ago (January 22nd, 2007)
not driven by commercial viability
Thank you so much for the generous comments. (Once I finish this piano project, I will dive headlong into the collaboration we have begun, The Chimney). The goal of creating music without regard to commercial viability is definitely one of the things I love about MJ, but is also a goal (or a release of a goal) at this stage of my own career, and a very liberating one. Thanks for mentioning it. It is a cornerstone of this whole piano project; one of the reasons commissions can be so important. Your artistic and spiritual friendship is also one of those things MJ has brought to my doorstep, for which I am also grateful.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
guitapick said 4659 days ago (January 20th, 2007)
Well, well, well...
...you've obviously been "around the block" more than a few times.

I LOVE this piece. (listening to it as I type, on the headphones). Could go over all the reasons...but it's just so, so cool. I'm looking forward to checking out lots more of your stuff.

BTW: I'm not a serious pianist; but I noticed you mentioned having problems micing your acoustic piano. I've got a friend who's a fine player and he swears by his Schertler DYN-G (?) pickup for his grand. Ever tried?
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
kristyjo said 4657 days ago (January 21st, 2007)
Tobin - great stuff!
So THIS is what the pros play when they're 'just messing around on the keyboards.' I'll add a bit of Copland to the 'sounds like' list. Some very 'El Salon Mexico' moments in there. Playful and fun. To be honest, I was wondering how it was going to develop at the beginning of my listen- but it had a great ending!
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
DOCTORBIZARRE said 4657 days ago (January 22nd, 2007)
I dig this and your cover is really cool! I love the 13 faces! This should be a cool compilation of piano tracks! Are you really playing the piano? Sorry had to ask.
Check out my latest song called STORM
CIPHER said 4657 days ago (January 22nd, 2007)
A new language
That's what your music is to me. I'm amazed at how your musical mind works, how different it is from my own. I don't understand how you do what you do.

This song was a tough listen for me. I wanted so much to grab hold of it and make sense of it but every time I was about to catch its tail, you zagged. Therein lies my problem. I am driven to conquer chaos by making it take form, like a butterfly pinned to a board I suppose. Your tune would not be controlled.

I admire this ability you have to be free. I suppose that's jazz right? I sould learn jazz but I don't know if I could feel jazz like you do. Songs like this don't come from the brain.

Amazing work Tobin. Beautiful AND disruptive, certainly a tricky combo. There was a riff you played mid way through (octaves) that I just loved and wished would grow in to a whole tune - it was such a great hook. I will download and listen to this tune as a learning tool - a musical lesson from one of the best teachers around.


Check out my latest song called You Have My Heart (VOX)
TobinMueller said 4656 days ago (January 22nd, 2007)
Unconscious mind is, by definition, uncontrolled
Thanks for your honesty. I have been thinking a lot about the non-conscious aspect of mind this past year, due to this project as well as a fiction work, Book of Dreams, I have begun writing. As rational Age of Reason children, we have become very separated from that, perhaps much larger, well of untamable mind, called the unconscious (for lack of better terminology). Unconscious mind is, by definition, uncontrolled, like our dreams. But it is not "other-than-self;" indeed, it may be more ourself than our conscious mind (due to its inherent independence). We can train our conscious mind, like a parrot, but what comes out is mostly rearranged clip art. I have always delved into my mind-space (it used to look like a large stage-theater) to work out plot problems, narrative dead ends, a place to let my half-dreaming mind explore, without conscious interruption, ideas. I have let go even more in recent months, and it is both artistically exciting and emotionally enjoyable for me. As a middle aged guy, I want to say something unique, so I am trying to give my unconscious more leeway, more say. Life is too short for more clip art, more mental loops.

As for the flashes of melodies and hooks that fly by, that seem to go undeveloped... I agree, that happens, and I hear them go by too, like a face in a subway window you are suddenly desiring but flashes away without true connection. When attending colleagues' jazz performances, this happens all the time. All I can say is that, for me, as an audience at that moment, I think "he didn't develop that amazing moment. I have to remember it, maybe develop it myself," and it becomes a gift. As the perpetrator of a few such moments, I think what happens is the overall arc of the piece is always of greater importance, and those moments make me smile, but they are intersections of another journey, not the focus of this one. One of my rules for this project is to not employ normal rules, to play only what satisfy (me). Thanks for giving it many listens, by the way. I appreciate that a great deal.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Doadars Uncle said 4656 days ago (January 22nd, 2007)
Very sweet
It's got a good energy. Ready for horns! Very exciting!
Check out my latest song called Don't Leave (remix)
futzpucker said 4656 days ago (January 22nd, 2007)
So very impressive, so very enjoyable
Your knowledge of jazz theory is remarkable, Tobin, and that's only the beginning. Your knowledge is only one of your tools. Your freedom, playfulness, trust, ability to let go, and most of all, your instincts, built from a lifetime of devotion to art... these all work together so well here.

Like others, I hear a host of influences, but the influences are the just the spices you've used to flavor this magnificent feast you've cooked up, and I am very pleased to sit at your table and dine on your wonderful composition.
Check out my latest song called Just As It Is
said 4655 days ago (January 23rd, 2007)
You're like some piano-wielding Les Claypool. lol
mbehar said 4654 days ago (January 24th, 2007)
attacking those keys
ok you hit hard!
I like your composition. Very interesting.
You should consider adding drums and bass ala Chic Corea
just my 2 cents


Check out my latest song called Naked Joy v.2.2
composerclark said 4654 days ago (January 24th, 2007)
Sorry to be so late chiming in, but wow, am I glad I heard this. It just sounds like a huge amount of fun to play and listen to. It begins in a deceptively simple but engaging way, then becomes gradually more complex. It begins with 3 antecedent phrases followed by a consequent phrases that really knocks your socks off, then the 4 phrases are repeated with virtuosic varitations... uh, this is playable, right? :-)

This is first-class stuff. 10-10-10-10
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
ziti said 4653 days ago (January 25th, 2007)
you play your ass off

deepest bows

Check out my latest song called The Viconian Cyclist
haribo said 4651 days ago (January 27th, 2007)
modern, calm and even reassuring
this is such calming piece of music without having to sound deliberately heavy. i love the brightness, encouraging and even reassuring side of it. this sounds modern and stylistic projecting a massive light of hope. this kind of music makes what human life more hopeful. if this was played in a cafe, concert hall or even in a morning tv show or radio i'd feel greatly energised for the day!

thank you!

ps: that cd cover looks so nice. i noticed that you are also into thematic things such as solar systems, modes and anything that has a spectrum, that can establish some sort of tonal relationship. i really find that exciting, cause it manages to result in something very atmospheric.

please carry on ! thanks for sharing this piece
Check out my latest song called Clouds
TobinMueller said 4613 days ago (March 6th, 2007)
what makes human life more hopeful
Thanks for the poetic comments. Yes, I love drawing inspiration from and creating perimeters (sometimes merely metaphorical ones) with visual and philosophical ideas. I am drawn to your work, which is full of explorations, thematically and harmonically and texturally, and urge everyone to check out the inventive and varied tracks you've posted on Macjams.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4643 days ago (February 4th, 2007)
I Wonder
if Thelonius Monk was also fan of Chico Marx (the playful high note accents near the end).
Excellent song, performance and production, Tobin.
TobinMueller said 4613 days ago (March 6th, 2007)
Chico Marx
I too loved Chico Marx!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
paul f. page said 4614 days ago (March 6th, 2007)
2 peas...
You do some amazing things with this comp. Many comments from other listerners that I am in total agreement with. You are one talented pianist! ... thanks for the explanation of the Ivory plug-in. You came up with the perfect sound for this style of writing: kind of crisp and dry. Wow.
Check out my latest song called Caprice
TobinMueller said 4613 days ago (March 6th, 2007)
Great having you here
Thanks. I love having you on Macjams. Your piano playing is masterful and your mind flows with beautiful melodies and a deep sense of meaningful peace and magical balance. I encourage everyone to check out your piano pieces posted here. Thank you for your gracious comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Enrique Gil said 4587 days ago (April 1st, 2007)
Hi Tobin
what beautiful variations and what talent with the keyboard! I love this melody and is a keeper for sure! To my ears, this is what piano is all about. The syncopated ryhtm add to he tune...thank you for sharing!
Check out my latest song called Simple Feelings
TobinMueller said 4586 days ago (April 2nd, 2007)
Enrique Gil
Thank you for the kind words. I'd like to echo what I said about Paul Page above. Your piano music, too, is a breath of beauty, refinements of Chopin era romanticism and a thrill to have on Macjams. I urge everyone to visit your music and bathe in the lyrical expression you share thru your magnificent piano playing.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
HenriROGERsoloandbands said 4178 days ago (May 14th, 2008)
Piano music
I'm impressed by many things after having heard all the album .
The choice of the sound is very interesting , it makes this music sound a bit more dry than with an acoustic piano , I think it fits very well with the overall mood , it gives a high-tech/SF/future impression.

Harmonies and rythms are very rich and there is a great number of ideas and changes .

The playing is impressive too with energy and expression all along .
The piano solo is like being naked , nothing to help the player , no way to hide , it's an experience of the truth .
You did a fantastic job .

TobinMueller said 4175 days ago (May 17th, 2008)
an experience of the truth
Wow, what a great compliment. Thank you. It is what I'm always trying to include in all my music. Very nice of you to mention this.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Dj French Toast said 4048 days ago (September 21st, 2008)
This is very much a mix of soul and classical squished together . Now on my third listen its a masterful touch on the keys and a meditation of the soul. Im fully in love with Solo piano music the piano is one of those instruments that sucks you into its world instantly ...now at 3:44 what are you doing are you hitting the edge of the piano that little clicking sound ? very clever and wonderful to listen to Tobin Thanx for sharing your Dreams with everyone: )

PS I know Im late to the party but better that than never : )
Check out my latest song called Sweeter no doubt (Beat by Sweet 79)
TobinMueller said 4018 days ago (October 21st, 2008)
Sharing your Dreams
Thanks. Playing solo piano is also very freeing from a composer/performer point of view, not having to chart out songs, take meetings for directors/producers, or get feedback from readings and test markets... just play, listen, play more, feel, and grow. Thanks for loving the inward journey.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Artist Info
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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