Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fool On Piano

This is too self-pitying to be totally accurate to my current situation but I couldn't help it. The song and the lonely piano player and the white walls, barred windows like a prison...I don't know...it works as a self-pity anthem...which I have sung proudly more than once. But I'm actually relaxing, eating exotic food...I have my whole life to live here in Puebla...I have postponed my masterpiece for too long and am trying to motivate my disdain. But notice the flat finger technique that I now use on the keys...this is Erroll Garner's influence and the sustain pedal is no longer treated like a throttle on a VW Beetle with a bad ignition coil. The angst and agony of traveling with a full sized keyboard that has to sleep in my bed until I need it was the definition of frustration. Imagine moving a piano every night and morning for a year when you need to lay down or get a tool to fix your aged van or moped. It was done with one objective in mind: me alone with a piano and time to kill. Now I have this objective met and I can hear the maturity and vain arrogance on display in my playing. What kind of fool am I? That's a difficult question to answer, but it's a good question to ask.

This tune is in my fakebook and I don't have a good story of why I'm playing it. I turned the page and read the lyrics and thought, "Hey, this sounds like someone I know." The jazz standards are like that. This horrible windows movie maker credits feature was the only way I could figure out how to get all the lyrics to scroll up...but it forced me to break them into two columns so there are odd spaces that make it look like I was trying to write poetry from someone else's words. I'm not that pretentious so I blame Bill Gates.
I tried to pick up the tempo on the 2nd verse...but it's too advanced and also it isn't even the right approach when I consider the words and the mood of this song. It is not a dance tune with fingers snapping like the sweaty young turks on Hollywood Blvd. scoring crystal meth. It's about self pity and should be played like a noose is somewhere nearby. The Great Sammy Davis Jr. recorded a strong performance of this show tune.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.